The Impact of Livestream Commerce

Industry Insight
Exploring the impact of livestream commerce

Livestream shopping is reshaping the way consumers interact with brands.

Livestream shopping has emerged as a new dynamic retail experience, transforming the way consumers engage with products and brands. Originating in China, this phenomenon gained substantial success, reaching an estimated $500 billion in products sold via livestream in 2022. The format’s unedited, live nature adds momentum and energy, fostering engagement as hosts respond to real-time audience interactions. 

Livestream shopping has started to make notable strides on social media in the U.S. Platforms like TikTok, Poshmark, and eBay are actively investing heavily in livestream shopping, showcasing its potential. Despite its success, the market structure varies significantly between China and the United States, presenting both challenges and opportunities for retailers and platforms alike.

China, dominated by Alibaba’s TaoBao, boasts an 80% share, while the U.S. sees a more fragmented landscape with Meta discontinuing the live shopping experience on Instagram. In 2021, China’s livestream shopping generated $327 billion, representing 10% of its e-commerce market. The U.S. lagged behind at about $20 billion, making up only 2% of the e-commerce market. This commerce in the U.S. has seen significant growth as changing technology and younger generations have begun to drive consumer preferences. 

Its popularity is closely tied to the rise of social media and the role played by influencers. Influencers are pivotal in guiding discussions and encouraging purchases during the livestream. This shift from a solitary online shopping experience to a social, communal one has reshaped the business model for social media platforms. 

For retailers looking to venture into livestream selling, careful consideration of the landscape is important. Livestream shopping is not just a trend. It represents a growing market, offering substantial opportunities for retailers willing to embrace its potential. 

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