Products are the lifeblood of a brand. But choosing the right host for your live shopping stream lays the foundation for successfully engaging your audience.
It might seem easy at first. Just pick someone charismatic and put them in front of a camera, right? Well, not quite.
Choosing the right host can involve several factors, including adapting your choice according to your brand image, your products, and, of course, your target audience.
Why You Need a Host?
Even QVC, stuffy and out-of-date as it is, knew that you had to have someone presenting products. You can just stream a video of an item spinning around and hope for sales.
Part of what makes live shopping such a good venue for brands is this human element. Audiences get to engage and interact with a real person who can answer their questions and get them hooked in a way even the most beautiful static images could never do.
You can hire someone or you can have someone from your brand take the wheel, but you need someone to serve as the face for your brand in your shopping livestream.
Should I Chose an Influencer or In-House Expert?
Before you consider other factors, you will need to decide whether you want to use an influencer or an in-house expert for your videos.
Frankly, you will want to use both. But strategically! Influencers have plenty of influence (obviously) and can drive spikes in conversion, but In-House Experts can give your brand higher rates of brand loyalty.
Below we look at the benefits and downsides to influencers and in-house experts, along with when to use each.
Using Influencers as Hosts
Name recognition goes a long way, so if you have an influencer hosting your live shopping stream, you can expect several metrics to see a boost. Total view count, duration of viewing time, and add-to-cart rates are all higher during influencer-led streams.
Of course, hiring an influencer can cost a lot. The more popular the influencer, the more your conversions will spike…but that influencer will likely be more expensive to hire.
So the trick when using an influencer is to find someone whose boost to your brand will offset their cost enough to make sense.
Additionally, influencers may come across as less genuine. This is not always the case, but if you hire an influencer who does not care about your products, this might peek through in their presentation.
Trust us, people are pretty good at picking up on these things. If you go the influencer route, be sure it is someone whose vibe can mesh with your brand and whose performance can be engaging enough to feel authentic and continue driving those conversions.
Using In-House Experts as Hosts
The most immediate benefit of in-house experts is that you won’t need to drop hundreds to thousands of dollars on an influencer. And while metrics for in-house expert streams are lower, they can still be a complete success.
In-house experts also come with several benefits, such as being a face that your audience is familiar with, driving brand loyalty.
Also, they tend to actually know a lot more about the products they are talking about. Maybe they designed the product, or use it daily themselves.
This gives the presentation a more authentic and honest feel to it, which again can boost brand loyalty and long-term sales.
Choosing the Right Host for Your Live Shopping Stream
Whether your next host is an influencer or an in-house expert, you will want to make sure they have several qualities for the stream to be a success.
We decided to format our tips as questions. When choosing your host, consider each of these, and if the answer isn’t to your satisfaction, you may need to pick someone else
What’s This Person’s Level of Expertise?
In-house experts tend to know their brand’s products; it’s simply part of the job. But influencers might not.
When choosing your host, you want someone who either uses your product or who can be equipped with knowledge of it before the stream.
Part of the popularity of live streaming comes from the audience getting to learn more about the product, which in turn reduces item return rates.
Sharing expertise is a major factor in how your host can lock in those conversions.
Can This Person Perform?
Now, being a little awkward on camera is fine. The performance we are talking about boils down to two factors.
First, a good livestream shopping host should be able to interact with the audience. As long as they are doing something to engage the audience, it is better than nothing.
Secondly, their performance should be able to come across as informative, not “salesy.” While live shopping is of course about selling products, it should feel like that’s not the case.
To bring up QVC again, they were terribly salesy. You never thought for a moment it was anything but a process for shilling as much inventory as possible.
If your livestream feels like that, it won’t go well. So choose a host who is as far away from QVC salesy-ness as possible.
Are They Ready for Teamwork?
The host might be the face of the stream, but plenty goes on behind the scenes.
By choosing a host who is ready to be part of a team, it opens up the possibilities of what you can do with your live shopping experience.
You can get more creative, try new ideas, and keep your audience more on their toes. A team-oriented host is also likelier to get your brand’s image across, creating a familiar atmosphere that your audience can follow and stick with.
Do They Have the Right Energy?
While a bit vague, you’ll know the answer when you ask yourself this while looking at a potential host.
Do they put out the vibe that you want associated with your brand? Now, there is almost never such a thing as a wrong vibe in general. But there can certainly be a wrong vibe for your brand.
Just be aware of what your brand’s message and image are, and be sure to choose hosts that match with it.
You’ve Got the Right Host. Now Get the Right Software.
Having the perfect host only gets you halfway to live shopping success. With Onlive.Site’s live shopping software you can effortlessly create live shopping streams that boost brand growth, awareness, and loyalty all at once. You can get in touch with our online form to set up a free demo so you can see firsthand how easy our software is to use and the potential it can unlock for your brand.