The Future of Social is Selling – And It’ll Be Live-Streamed

For years, we’ve heard the same thing: This is the year social e-commerce takes off.

And it really never held true until last year (thank you global pandemic!).

The tools are in place. Facebook and Instagram have shopping platforms that are fairly easily to set up–and ridiculously easy to buy on. TikTok has proven itself in its short lifespan as a huge shopping platform. You can even shop on Pinterest!

And again, thanks to that pandemic, behaviors finally did change. Suddenly (and maybe it was pandemic + Gen Z influence), people were much more open to buying on social. Insider Intelligence says 35.9% of internet users in the U.S. made at least one social commerce purchase in 2021.

So 2020 was the year social selling started to take off. And the future looks pretty rosy, too, when it comes to social e-comm.

8 in 10 ten U.S. businesses anticipate selling on social media within the next three years, according to Statista. And according to Accenture, social commerce will nearly TRIPLE by 2025. Um, that’s just 3 years away!

The Future of Social is Selling – And It’ll Be Live-Streamed

Clearly there is some major momentum for social e-commerce. And, the future of that selling will be streamed live.

According to Insider Intelligence, 70% of internet users in the U.S. who regularly watched live streams led by influencers said they were likely to buy products recommended by the influencers.

The Future of Social is Selling – And It’ll Be Live-Streamed

And, when it comes to the kind of content people are drawn to for social selling purposes–live-streaming tops the list.

What’s more, live commerce (that’s what we’re calling it now, apparently), is especially lucrative. According to one survey, companies report conversion rates approaching 30 percent with live commerce—up to ten times higher than in conventional e-commerce! That same report said companies are seeing their share of younger audiences increase by up to 20 percent via live commerce, too.

Those stats are not easy to overlook.

Who’s doing this well so far?

Start with Walmart. They’ve been selling via streaming since Dec. 2020.

The Future of Social is Selling – And It’ll Be Live-Streamed

Over the last 14 months, they’ve tested 15 shoppable livestream events across five platforms. They launched Walmart.com/live. They’ve worked with more than 20 creators and hosts on these livestreams. And, they were the first retailer to pilot shoppable livestream events on major social platforms, including TikTok, YouTube and now Twitter.

But, Walmart is hardly alone.

Pac-Sun, Bloomingdale’s, L’Oreal, Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom and Petco are just a few of the brand with track records of live-streaming social shopping events in 2021.

Pac-Sun has an entire section on their web site where they’ve curated these events–much like Walmart.

The Future of Social is Selling – And It’ll Be Live-Streamed

Nordstrom held six virtual live-streamed shopping events between March 18 and June 10 last year alone!

Petco held its first live shopping event last April and it “exceeded expectations across the board”, according to the company in this article.

Clearly, social e-comm is here to stay–and it’s being driven largely by live-streamed events (and influencers–but more on that in a later post).

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