TikTok Shop’s efforts could make livestream commerce popular in the US in 2024. Even though the U.S. may not catch up with China, where we predict 40.2% of internet users will buy something from a livestream in 2024, livestream commerce still has a chance to succeed in the U.S.
According to CivicScience data from May 2023, only 12% of US consumers have bought something from a live shopping stream. However, 13% have viewed a livestream, and another 12% are open to it.
CivicScience reported that Gen Zers (25%) are the most frequent buyers on live shopping streams, followed by millennials (14%).
Get on board: There are multiple ways brands can join the livestream commerce effort, depending on how involved they want to get.
1. Social media platforms
Social media platforms make it easy for brands to try out livestream commerce without spending a lot of money upfront. However, each platform has its way of doing livestream commerce.
TikTok Shop, which launched in the US last September, lets brands and creators sell directly to app users through videos or livestreams.
The app offers a secure and integrated payment system for smooth checkout. Almost a third (32%) of Gen Z consumers shopped or planned to shop for holiday gifts on TikTok Shop in 2023.
Gen Z consumers are more likely to start their online product searches on YouTube (42%) than the average respondent (25%), according to Jungle Scout data from February 2023.
YouTube is the most popular platform among US teens, with 93% saying they use it, ahead of TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram, per Pew Research from December 2023.
More US internet users (25%) watch live streams led by creators or influencers on YouTube than on TikTok (18.7%), Facebook (17.4%), or Instagram (14.0%), based on The Influencer Marketing Factory data from April 2023.
Even though Facebook and Instagram gave up on their livestream e-commerce projects last year, brands can still use Facebook or Instagram Live to stream and use links to direct users to their websites or marketplace storefronts.
2. Built-in Livestream platforms
Brands may need to put in some extra effort to set up these options, but the platforms handle most of the work with the live streaming features.
Amazon Live features daily livestreams from brands and creators in various categories such as beauty, fashion, gaming, fitness, and electronics.
TalkShopLive, a live commerce platform, allows brands, creators, and retailers like Walmart and Best Buy to stream from anywhere and offer products for sale during and after their shows.
Bloomingdale’s Outlet teamed up with ShopShops for a 10-week program that showcased influencers visiting different store locations and picking out products that consumers could purchase via the stream.
3. Third-party integrations
Brands that want to go all-out can get help from third-party partners to create a full-fledged livestream commerce business.
Free People, an apparel company, collaborated with Bambuser to provide a livestream shopping experience. The livestream episodes lasted from 15 to 30 minutes and showcased both internal employees and external partners like influencers and celebrities.
The Fresh Market joined forces with Firework to launch its shoppable video live commerce retail media network, which includes prep tutorials and chef-created recipes.
L’Oréal Group partnered with Livescale on shoppable livestreams featuring brands like Urban Decay, Lancôme, and NYX Cosmetics. The streams offered makeup tutorials as well as discounts and giveaways.
The takeaway: Livestream commerce could gain a lot of momentum in 2024, especially among younger consumers. But brands should assess the demand among their customers before deciding how much to invest.