Where should you host your next liveshopping? Livestream shopping is the most exciting new trend in e-commerce and digital marketing, boasting unheard of conversion rates for online retailers.
In Asia over the last few years, the practice has become a staple of the online shopping experience, growing into a $500 billion market, with retailers in the west quickly catching onto this lucrative new trend.
However, one decision that online retailers are struggling to make is whether to host their livestream shopping event on their website, or to use a third-party marketplace.
With this in mind, here is a summary of the benefits of both, so you can decide which one is best suited to your business.
Hosting on Your Website.
Autonomy over experience.
When you host a livestream shopping event on your website, you have full control over the experience you give your customers, from the functionality of the shopping experience to the other content they see on your page.
In contrast, on a third-party marketplace such as TikTok live, people viewing your livestream are also going to be shown content from other brands, making it less likely they’ll buy from you and making your brand less memorable as a result of the distraction of other content.
Full ownership of data.
Data is one of the most powerful tools available to businesses, allowing you to gain vital insight into your customer’s behavior and thinking – components which drive purchasing decisions.
By hosting a livestream shopping event on your website, you can see what content/hosts customers are most engaged with, which products are most popular and a variety of other insights that allow you to improve the customer experience, increase engagement, improve products and, ultimately, drive sales.
Great for branding and community building.
Building a strong brand identity that customers grow to recognize, know and love is pivotal for business success, with brand recognition and loyalty driving customers back again and again to interact with – and buy from – your brand.
When you host a livestream shopping event on your website, the experience is permeated with your branding – and no other branding, as is often the case on third-party platforms – and provides a hub for your audience to gather each time you put on a livestream, creating a sense of familiarity and community.
What’s more, by doing this, you make it more likely that your core audience get to know one another, as well as interact with your brand, providing an opportunity for you to deepen your brand’s relationship with its customers.
This sense of community drives brand loyalty and attracts customers back for each event to reconnect and purchase more. For this reason, hosting livestream shopping events on your website typically generates a higher conversion rate than on a third-party marketplace.
Hosting on a Third Party Marketplace.
Frees up site bandwidth.
Depending on your business’ web hosting – and the size of audience you intend to draw to your livestream shopping events – it’s possible to overburden your website’s bandwidth if you choose to host your livestream on-site.
Hosting your event on a third-party marketplace eliminates this problem, since the platform endures the bandwidth burden. This can also help to ensure your video doesn’t have issues with loading and buffering, which can drive customers away.
Another solution is to be very mindful of the selected technology you choose. Solution like eStreamly are specifically designed to maintain high speed load on your website.
Good for targeting new customers.
In general, hosting your livestream shopping event on a third-party marketplace is great way to get your brand in front of new eyes.
This is because people who’ve never been exposed to your brand are unlikely to stumble upon your website to watch your livestream shopping event. Even if your marketing is successful, few of the people who see your brand for the first time are likely to migrate to your website just for the event.
On the other hand, potential shoppers already interacting with third-party marketplaces such as Amazon or TikTok Live may stumble upon your livestream shopping event and turn into a new customer. This makes these platforms fantastic tools for getting new eyes on your brand, especially with the marketing capabilities that become available when you use the third-party marketplace.
Likely to reach a larger audience.
For the same reasons that hosting your livestream shopping event on a third-party marketplace is a good way to garner new customers – or at least get your brand on their radar – it follows that the audience for your livestream shopping event is going to be larger.
Though your audience will likely be bigger, in part due to on-platform marketing, it’s worth noting that the conversion rate will probably be significantly lower than if the event was hosted on your website.
Which is right for your business?
Taking all this into account – and bearing in mind your business’ goals – your livestream shopping event might be better held on your website, or on a third-party marketplace.
If branding and high conversion is your focus… then hosting your livestream shopping event on your website might be the best option, because of the opportunity to build a community over time and tailor the shopping experience to improve customer engagement.
If you’re a new brand focusing on building awareness… then using a third-party marketplace might be the way forward, since they’re great places to obtain new audiences and allows you to avoid upgrading your website costs to cope with the bandwidth required to host on-site.