It seems that so many of us are now looking to shop online when it comes to our goods. From everyday household essentials to the latest in fashion garments, it’s all available online with the touch of a button. 

In 2018, around 1.8 billion people globally purchased goods online. This was projected to rocket to around $4.8 trillion by 2021. That’s a figure that’s most likely to have been achieved, especially with the pandemic. With so many people working from home, it was inevitable that many would turn to online shopping as a result.

So what is live broadcasting and how is it impacting the retail industry? Is this a new age of retail that we’re seeing? In this article, we’ll be discussing all these questions in relation to the retail industry and where it stands in today’s digital world.

What is live broadcasting?

A live broadcasting is a live transmission of any kind, be that radio, a television show or a live-streamed event on YouTube or Twitch. When it comes to live broadcasting, there’s no significant delays and so what happens is occurring in real-time.

User interaction will likely be part of the live broadcasting, whether that’s them interacting in the chat rooms or phoning in to the show itself to interact. It’s a great way of helping reach a global audience and can be effective in many ways for a business to make money and engage with their customers on a personal level.

There are a few live broadcasting concepts that have directly impacted the retail industry and other industries for that matter. One concept of which is live shopping. A staggering $60 billion in global sales in 2019 was made through live shopping, according to Coresight.

So how else is live broadcasting changing the retail industry as we know it?

How is live broadcasting changing the retail industry?

Live broadcasting has many benefits to businesses who use the platform, whether it’s a specific call to action or for selling their products and services. More retail businesses can certainly be taking advantage of what live broadcasting has to offer, so here’s how and why it’s changing the industry.

Engages with customers on a more personal level

Engaging with your customers is critical as a business, especially when it comes to retail because it’s heavily customer service orientated.

86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience and live broadcasting is certainly offering that in many ways. First and foremost, this type of broadcasting is a lot more personal because the retailer is putting themselves into the customer’s home environment. If not in the home, then consumed on-the-go.

The same goes for live streaming in its ability to interact with its audience, to engage in the chat element of it where possible and to have conversations with customers. It becomes more of a friendly and relaxed environment, rather than a sales pitch.

As a consumer, watching or listening to a live broadcast feels more personal and exclusive because it seems as if the host is talking directly to you. It often feels like you’re listening to a friend talk about what they’ve recently purchased or items that they think are great.

With eCommerce being so successful too, live broadcasting is a great opportunity to create a more interactive experience for customers in retail. After all, the better the customer experience, the more they’ll likely buy or come back in the future.

Creates trust in the brand or products being sold

Trust in a brand is important for customers and as consumers, we’ve become more fussy when spending our money. We expect more value for money and so first-time experiences with brands are essential to get right.

Oberlo found that 81% of the customers they surveyed said they need to be able to build trust in the brand before buying from them. Nowadays, there needs to be so much more done in order to sell the product and live broadcasting is a part of that growth in the retail industry.

Even though online shopping has allowed more independent retail brands to pop up, it means competition is fierce. It also means you’ve got to work harder to establish that trust with your customers from the get go. Having a live streaming or broadcasting opportunity can introduce the brand in a personable way and that automatically can create trust.

With live broadcasts that are visual, the customer can see the product in action and if it’s successful, can see the excitement it generates with existing customers actively buying it via the broadcast.

There’s something exciting about having that opportunity to get to know the brand well before even purchasing anything from them. The customer can make an informed decision simply based on what the host or hosts are showcasing.

It’s easier than going to a physical store

One of the major benefits to live broadcasting is the convenience for the customer. The customer doesn’t even need to leave the comfort of their own home – or couch for that matter – to tune in. As long as they have a WIFI connection and a device to watch it on, that’s all they need.

It’s therefore easier to shop online than to go into a physical store and this perhaps is contributing to the thousands of physical stores that are closing globally.

Again, as consumers, the less effort needed to purchase something, the more satisfaction gained. Live broadcasting brings it’s services to the customer directly without them needing to lift a finger. All they need to do is click onto it and swipe or add the products to their basket.

It cuts out the effort of having to travel and for some, the ability to travel to a physical store becomes more challenging when there are less of them in their immediate area. 

Many customers may find themselves having to travel to big malls or shopping districts to get access to the brands they like. So with that said, having it available at your fingertips seems like the more accessible approach when shopping.

Opportunities for collaboration

Live broadcasting can benefit the customers but it can also be extremely beneficial for the retailers too. As more businesses establish themselves online, social media and online streaming platforms allow opportunity for collaboration.

For example, Instagram Lives and Tiktok Lives allow you to add other accounts to the live stream. This can be great when retailers may be doing a collaboration with another company or perhaps an influencer. There are many retailers now who are launching collections with impressionable figures on social media. 

Pretty Little Thing is one retailer that exists solely online but likely contributed to its major success through collaborations with influencers. Making around $694 million in revenue, it’s a company that’s turned into a multimillion-dollar empire.

From collaborations, there’s also a chance that the customers from one influencer or brand will find an interest in the other. This is an excellent opportunity for cross-promotion on both sides. Not only will it benefit sales but also follower growth, which is also important for companies nowadays.

The best thing about collaborations through live broadcasting is that it’s predominantly free to do, costing neither party anything other than just showing up.

Useful for upselling and cross-promotion

As it’s been briefly touched upon in the last point, live broadcasting can be useful for cross-promotion of products and for occasions where collaboration is part of the experience.

Not only that, but there’s an opportunity for upselling. When a customer goes into the store, all the products are across a big area, whereas online has it all in one place. With a hosted broadcast, the host can showcase one item and then show a few other similar products that go with that first item or are just close to it in style.