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Livestream shopping shows promise in UK and US, but expected traction ‘falls short’

By Rachel Douglass


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Livestream shopping. Image: Unsplash

Livestream shopping refers to video content that allows watchers to view products and purchase them in real time.

While the Chinese market is already enjoying a surge in such a shopping format, retailers in the US and the UK are still catching up in implementing the feature.

However, according to a report by the Influencer Marketing Factory, there is still promise for the two regions, as a younger generation of shoppers begin turning to this engaging experience.

In a survey carried out by the marketing agency, which surveyed 2,000 respondents from the US and UK, just 36 percent US and 25 percent UK customers said they had purchased something during a livestream.

Out of these shoppers, 27 percent of American respondents said they had spent 20 to 50 dollars on livestream shopping in the last three months, compared to 31 percent in the UK that had spent between 10 and 20 dollars.

Their main reasonings for shopping via this method was to view the quality of product, to access free delivery and to utilise discounts.

423 billion dollar market in China

It comes as various platforms begin to test out the feature on shoppers in these regions, with the likes of YouTube and TikTok having already carried out shoppable online events in various trails.

Speaking on the report, Alessandro Bogliari, co-founder and CEO of the agency, said: “Livestream shopping has fallen short of expectations in terms of traction this year.

“The US and Europe are still missing certain critical factors such as quality livestream shopping hosts, interaction and incentives, significant discounts and many more that make live shopping a unique model.

“With that being said, this doesn’t mean that it doesn't have the potential to grow exponentially and this can ideally be a great opportunity for brands, platforms and creators to beat competitors to the punch and therefore become the market leaders for the upcoming years.”

The shopping model has already had a major impact on the Chinese market, with livestream sales in the region expected to reach 423 billion dollars by 2022, compared to the US’ expected revenue of 20 billion dollars.

China also saw an annual growth rate of 14 percent in 2021 for the livestream market, with 700 million Chinese users now watching livestreams – 44.9 percent of which have made purchases via these videos.