Why live shopping makes selling products fun and engaging | Mihai Manescu - Streams live
What is Streams live doing?
Mihai: Well, we’re a software as a service because we’re on Tekpon, and we are dealing with livestream shopping. So what you can do with Streams live is create your own livestream shopping sessions. So on your website, in less than two minutes, we have a very easy-to-use and user-friendly interface where you can set up your live session using your webcam or a professional camera and the broadcasting software.
And then, you just add the products you have online. And you’re good to go, and you’re ready to sell. And what we’re proposing to customers from the e-commerce business, but any business can use livestream shopping because you can add a shopping or lead-generating layer to any kind of video content is that you implement this video strategy in your sales.
When did live shopping start?
Mihai: Live shopping dates back to teleshopping because people are more friendly with this approach. When I usually talk about live shopping, people ask me – oh, it’s like an online 2022 modern teleshopping system. And I’ll say – yes, but there are quite a lot of differences between teleshopping and livestream.
In teleshopping, you remember you had this guy presenting you with different products on the screen, and you had to call a number to buy those. Well, that means it was a one-way communication style. So it was something recorded. Some guy was showcasing the product, but you couldn’t ask him questions. You couldn’t find personalized details about this product. So you had to buy it, and you bought it by calling a phone number.
What happens in live shopping is that you have a chat option and the questions option. These obviously are available on our platform, and you can ask questions, comment, and ask the host for details on several aspects of the product. So you can eliminate those questions that might interfere with finalizing the purchase process. So it’s a bi-dimensional communication method in livestream shopping. And, of course, you purchase the product by clicking the buttons in their interface. So you don’t have to call a number, you just click add to cart. Or purchase the product – it will either take you to the product page or if you are integrated with WooCommerce, Shopify, or CS card.
With Streams live, you can import your portfolio of products in Streams live, and the whole purchasing process happens in the video. So you never leave the video. You always are connected to what’s going on in the live show. And, of course, you can buy multiple products when you’re done. You just check out pay on the product website. We don’t process payments, but we enhance the experience of purchase.
Top 3 features of Streams live
Mihai: I would say the first one would be that you can connect with your webcam or a professional camera. That means our product is easy to use for small businesses that might not afford some complex video production because this is something that people are afraid of when it comes to live shopping.
I get many questions saying – oh, but production is expensive. Well, it’s not if you can start your webcam and just go on selling live in front of your laptop or using your phone. You connect through our web-based platform; we don’t have an app at the moment, but you can connect via Google Chrome or Firefox, and you can log into your platform and start streaming, and it will use your camera. So you can sell products using your phone, and also if you want to do shows or whatever big TV like shopping sessions, you can do that. You just connect cameras to the OBS system because you need broadcasting software; most people use OBS as streamers usually do. So we’ve seen different types of approaches to live shopping. So I’d say one of the biggest and most important features is that you can connect with any device you have available.
The second cool feature that we have is that everything you do on streams out live is embeddable. So you can embed your eye frame, your live shopping eye frame, on any website. So you can just copy and paste the code on your website, and you’re good to go. You don’t have to know to code, you don’t have to have a lot of experience. You just copy and paste in Java code, and it’s there on your website. And what’s more important, you can use this code to sell live on other channels because it can go simultaneously. And you know, there are many ways to use video to be creative with the video, not only with the content but what you do with the video and how that video can turn into sales.
And the third very important thing is that we are compatible with e-commerce. So if your shop is on Shopify or WooCommerce on CS cart, you must connect our app to your account. And what will happen then is that they will be linked. So you can import the products automatically from your stocks to live shopping. So you don’t have to do that manually. It’ll be automatic, and you’re good to go in selling. And you can change the products that you sell in sessions. You can have one week and some offers for specific products. You can sell those next week. You can change the products, which will happen automatically with the integrations.
How big is the live shopping market?
Mihai: Live stream shopping is quite the next big thing in e-commerce. It’s pretty at the beginning. In China, it’s huge. Expectations say that this industry in China will reach 400 billion dollars by the end of 2022. And it’s growing in the western world. Some studies say that by 2026, it will be worth around $35 billion in the US. It’s growing in Europe as well, in countries where we operate. We have clients from the UK, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Poland, and Romania. We see an increase in interest. People are brave and want to explore new ways of selling online. And we see that people tend to try to move away from social media and build their content.
We see we see problems with social media networks. So the most successful live shopping session was this catch where people advertised on social media but treated the live shopping session as a true event, an online event with sales. And they used social media platforms to promote their event and get people to come to the landing page on their website where you want them to be on your website.
Our software solution offers this multicasting option to stream simultaneously on your landing page and video. Because the shopping interface is unavailable on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or any social media, you can connect through a live session with an RTMP connection. So it can go simultaneously, but you have to consider that in social media, you will only see the video stream and not have the button. So this is why you need all sorts of catches and, let’s say, some gamification process to get people to leave social media and come to your website where the shopping happens.
What is the price for Streams live?
Mihai: Well, there are three tiers of subscriptions. We are subscription based, so it’s a monthly subscription. The first tire is $75, which is really affordable for any business, so they can start streaming. Then, you will have a free trial to test the solution. If you put in your card, you will have 1000 free minutes to test. We won’t charge you anything for seven days. If you’re happy with what’s going on in the first 1000 minutes test, then obviously, the money will be taken from your card.
And the subscription will be active. This is for both tires. So starter and pro account. The starter account, as I said, is $75, and it will give you 10,000 streaming minutes, whereas basically, one viewer who watches a minute is one minute. So if you have 10,000, let’s say 1000, viewers who are watching, you will have 10 minutes of streaming. So this is how you calculate your zooming minutes. But don’t worry, you don’t have to do maths. A counter of minutes is available in the dashboard so that you can check the minutes you have available. After that, you have done some sessions. And in this tire also, you have five live shopping sessions available. So you can do five sessions in a month in these 10,000 minutes. And it will. Approximately 500 concurrent viewers. So at the same time, watch your live streaming. So this is why this tire is meant for small businesses.
The next tire is the pro, the pro account, which is $199. At this moment, we have a big discount up until December. So from $299, we have it at $199. What is here? You have 25,000 streaming minutes. You have ten life sessions you can do in a month and 1000 concurrent viewers. So it scales up as, of course, you improve and you increase your business. So the plans scale up, but not to a large amount. We’re trying to promote the idea that technology should be. Affordable for any business to use.
And there’s the Enter Enterprise plan, where you have 250,000 minutes, unlimited live sessions, and unlimited products you can sell. You have life support in your sessions, meaning a customer success team member will. Like your personal account manager, and we’ll help you achieve success because that’s what the title says. And all of this obviously depends on the product and the project. So if you are interested in an enterprise plan, contact the sales team, who will serve you. What’s important to mention is that in this enterprise plan, you also have a brandable interface. So what you can do is you can change the color of the interface buttons. You can adapt them to look like it’s actually part of your landing page so that you can adapt them to your brand colors, fonts, and so on.
So it’s something you should try if you are a medium-sized business doing a lot of shopping and you plan on implementing this type of solution. And what else is there to mention is that you, with our solution, don’t have to rely only on live streaming. When the live streaming session ends, you now have a video available for people to watch, and it becomes a shoppable video. So you can edit the long video and cut it in different small. Like focusing on one product, and you can create a new session, which is a video. It’s not live, but it’s taken from the live, and you can develop your video sales channel. So you have a page where you announce your next live streaming. And then, if you scroll down or, you know, find a way to include these embeds in your interface, with the option to purchase the products. We’ve seen customers developing this and using marketing strategies – get people to this landing page, to this new channel, and it’s pretty effective.
Successful live shopping use cases
Mihai: The industry has done a lot of sales in beauty and fashion because there are smaller, cheaper products that can be sold instantly. You can add perks to what you’re selling. So we’ve had a client who had this discount of 25% for a specific product and chipped in with another free product. We’ve even had customers who tried this selling strategy with discounts and products, and their e-commerce websites crashed because too many people came from the live shopping session to buy products.
But we also had like lower number of products and the sales and so on. What we’ve seen, and this confirms the international studies, we’ve seen it with our costume. The conversion rate of a livestream shopping session is approximately 9%. If you compare the number of people who view the page, the number of clicks, and the actual sales, this was a bit harder to see because companies don’t allow us to see the number of sales, But we had had some clients that wanted to share with us the numbers of the.
So we can build some study cases, and we’ve seen some very, very good numbers regarding conversion rates. So it proved to us that the theories are correct if you do it by the book. So you promote the event, have a good influencer, and then do remarketing on the page where the live shopping happens. Then you will most likely have good results on this. And you can approach live shopping as just someone talking to you. I’m showcasing your products. But for example, we’ve had some very out-of-the-box sessions where we sold cards in livestream shopping sessions.
We filmed in big film studios where we brought a car, and you showcased it. So people going in the car, you see people going in the trunk, which will be better than showing you a picture saying – oh, look how spacious this trunk is. Well, you either believe me by seeing a picture, or you can watch a video where some people go into the trunk and see how big.
And we’ve had, for example, a livestream shopping experience. You can sell experiences through live shopping. We’ve had two influencers go in a small airplane, and we’ve put some cameras on the wings of the airplane, one in the cockpit, and you could film. We’ve streamed live the whole experience, and you can purchase the experience. So it can be used for any business. Maybe you can try using it in real estate – you can present houses and apartments using live shopping and interact with potential customers. You can sell holidays, tourism packages, and so on by, you know, doing a travel blog. You don’t have to go live. You can use it as a shoppable video, but you have the option to buy the product now, which is a very good incentive.
How competitive is the live shopping space?
Mihai: I like to see it as it’s still a blue ocean in the western world. It’s only growing now. So some other solutions offer what we offer. But the market is so big that I think there’s enough room for everyone to do this. And we’ve seen that the big social media platforms are exploring live shopping. They have been a bit discouraged by the fact it’s not such a fast adoption rate in the Western world. But we always compare it to China. I mean, in China, if you actually study a bit of the history of how live shopping got to where it is now, you will see that the first roots of live streaming were in 2005. That’s when game streams were very started to become very popular. So obviously, shops started to look at this as a potential way to showcase their products. And only in 2016 did Taobao Live come on, on the market, marking the beginning of livestream shopping.
And you have to consider the fact that China is very mobile-friendly. Everyone has a mobile, they don’t have desktops or laptops as they have cell phones. Now, if you look at the rates, 30% of internet users in China have purchased something in live shopping. It’s pretty big there, and the social media platforms looked at live shopping as something that would be a boom here in America, but the profile here is more teleshopping oriented like people. So that is a very different approach because that is filmed in a studio with professional hosts. It’s not something very mobile-friendly. So obviously, you have to tackle the Western audience differently.
And try to upgrade teleshopping, not to do as China does, but, you know, take what’s good from China and understand the local markets. And try to adapt to the local markets. Because I’ve had customers who asked me, will I have numbers? Like the Chinese have numbers. So, no, you’re not going to sell billions of dollars in live shopping in Europe or the US right now. There might be a time, but now it’s not the time. We’re still at this beginning, so it’s still a blue ocean. It will be good when social media starts augmenting this live shopping phenomenon. And I think that in around, let’s say, five or ten years, that will be as mainstream as podcasts.
Connect with Mihai
Streams live: streams.live