Which is the best platform for selling via live-stream shopping?

Increasingly, we are finding more platforms which allow sales through videos or even live broadcasts. The major players in the market have also joined this: Amazon Live, Facebook Live, Instagram, TikTok or YouTube live. Yet which is the best platform to sell using livestreaming? Today we will present you a detailed analysis of each platform so that you can assess the pros and cons.

Instagram Reels 

In the United States Instagram already allows the sale of items using Reels. These are short videos of around 1 minute duration are inspired by TikTok, and to which Instagram is giving a lot of prominence. In fact, Instagram has altered their interface to now display the type of videos with their central button.

Positive Points:

  • The reels are creative innovations and attractive for users. Their consumption is very high. It supports the evolution of selling a static image to a video.
  • They allow buying of items directly through Instagram, as the site has incorporated a shopping cart. Additionally, the site allows you to create a wish list.
  • Using reels helps attract new audiences. Reels are randomly displayed to users, not just those that follow the page and thus are global. Meaning if you generate good content, you have many possibilities of achieving a wide reach and for potential clients to discover you.

Limitations of live-stream shopping

  • Reels are limited by their short length of approximately 1 minute.
  • If the user scrolls, they could lose sight of the video. Reels cannot be searched for, unless you go to the specific profile to look for them.
  • There is no interaction, since the reels are not live. At most the users will like the video or comment on it, however, you will not be able to interact with your audience directly or live.
  • Partly your reach and returns will depend on how much you invest in the video.
  • Reels do not allow the hosting of games or raffles, which help to keep the audience glued behind their screens.

Instagram Shop

For now, it is only possible to create catalogues and for those who wish to complete a transaction, they can be redirected to the web page or e-commerce of the business. Nevertheless, from now onwards small businesses will be able to create their shop and the process of acquiring and paying for the item will also be allowed to be completed within the social network.

Positive points

  • The sale will be finalised within the platform, without the need to redirect the user.
  • It allows the exploration of shops, creating and exploring guides, searching for products and discovering brands.
  • The products can be promoted using images or videos.
  • The sales commission amounts to 5% or rather a flat rate of 0,40 US Dollars for sales of up to 8,00 US Dollars.

Limitations of live-stream shopping

  • The sale will be yielded from pre-recorded images or videos , there is no direct interaction.
  • There is no interaction with the audience beyond the chat.
  • No show is produced around the product, not are games or raffles created.

We could define this new part of Instagram like a marketplace where the video has great relevance but not yet with reviews from the users.

Instagram Live

With all the functions described, Instagram has evolved to allow the sale also across their live videos. At the moment only in the United States but it will reach Spain soon.

Positive Points

  • This allows the sale of items across live videos without exiting the platform. These items are presented as a carousel under the Host.
  • The users can interact live with the products, such as asking questions through the chat.
  • Live broadcasts can be watched after being published for a limited time. 
  • There is no limit on users or products during the Instagram live.
  • It integrates Facebook pay, which allows users to have a payment gateway through all the app of the group. The sales commission amounts to 5%.

Limitations of live-stream shopping

  • The bran has to create a shop in Facebook and upload all their products so that they can be available during the live broadcast.
  • There are no tools at disposal to generate games or raffles live and capture the audience.
  • Now-a-days there is some delay, which limits the interaction with the users and the creation of experiences around the product.
  • Instagram live does not offer any live metrics, solely the number of users.
  • At the moment it only allows the connection of 2 hosts simultaneously.
  • There is not an option to integrate a web interface or to store videos to generate traffic. Everything stays within Instagram.
  • It is not possible to save the live videos on your Instagram profile.

TikTok

TikTok is a social network with a focus on video and performance around it. It requires a form of expression and to demonstrate talent from each user. Their principal target audience is Gen Z.

This platform has some particularities that set it apart from the rest. We will have a look at them!

Curiosities:

  • The videos last between 15 to 60 seconds.
  • The generation Z is not a fan of publicity and shuns advertisement content and company profiles. This is why the videos are not advertisements but rather the advertisement itself comes before the videos, which you can skip.
  • Another obstacle is that the publicity is much more expensive in comparison to other social media. A minimum of 500 dollars a day needs to be invested.
  • TikTok as a company, pays influencers to promote products from brands. In Instagram the alliance is finalised between influencers and brands directly. In this case TikTok mediates in some cases.
  • TikTok requires the coins that can be purchased to acquire virtual gifts. The best creators win diamonds in the face of followers and recognition, which they can exchange for money.

Types of announcements:

  • Brand Takeover. These are quire expensive, but they give you the opportunity to appear on the starting screen every time that a user opens a session on the application. Throughout a whole day your content can be seen by millions of users.
  • In-Feed Video. This is about the publicity that appears on the feed. It allows the segmentation as well as to include links to download an app or to a website.
  • Hashtag Challenge. It is based on announcing challenges through a hashtag, instead of allowing it to happen organically. The objective is to give visibility to the brand quickly.
  • Branded Lenses. Consists of creating videos using filters to boost the visibility and engagement of the business.

Although their purchase function through video is still being tested, we can show a overview of its pros and cons:

Positive Points 

  • The purchase is completed within the platform and in the video, without the need to redirect the user.
  • It potentiates the attention of users by showing them content randomly to those users that are not your followers.
  • The videos stay stored indefinitely on the platform and on the profile of the creator or brand.

Limitations of live-stream shopping

  • The brand must create an advertisement campaign, create hashtags to sell their products and pay for all of this, without having made any returns.
  • There is no way, as of now, to find products by categories, nor does it have a shop section. The users have to find them using the hashtag challenges.
  • There are no live broadcasts, everything is pre-recorded. Therefore no interaction with the audience is produced.
  • There are no tools that allow games or raffles.

Facebook live

This is a media that we know pretty well, it has already been on the market for a number of years. With its help, live videos can be created that promote products, record interviews, announce launches… Although, as it happens with other cases, the interaction with the audience is reduced to the chat.

Positive points

  • The purchase is completed within the platform, without the need to redirect the user to the web.
  • It uses Facebook pay and the entire catalogue of products that are created on this medium. Just as with Instagram, the commission amounts to 5%.
  • There is a live video channel to discover brands or users that you don’t know.
  • The videos are live, although they can also be watched after recording and are stored on the platform.
  • The re-transmission is free and is commissioned by the sale of products.
  • Facebook allows the blocking of users.
  • Allows the relay from other platforms.

Limitations of live-stream shopping

  • The interaction with users is limited to the chat. This is why, once again, we can say that we have a TV Channel with much variety but without real user interaction.
  • Only two Hosts can be present at the same time.
  • It does not have tools for giveaways or live game.
  • Time-limited transmissions, 8h.
  • It has latency, which makes it difficult to interact with the audience and the show around the product.

Amazon live

Amazon Live is a streaming platform, mostly made by influencers, in order to explain the characteristics of products, but it also offers fitness, food or style content.

Amazon always promotes its direct products that can be purchased through its platform.

Nowadays, it is using some product and demo videos in its marketplace, to allow users to see what a product looks like before making a purchase. Very similar to Aliexpress.

At the moment, the live streams are focused on the American and Asian audiences.

Positive points

  • The purchase is made within the video, without the need to redirect the user to the company’s website and Amazon takes care of everything.
  • There is a live channel where you can discover brands or influencers, and these are also recorded. Thus, you can find tutorials or demonstrations at any time, such as on Youtube.
  • Covers practically any product you can imagine.
  • Since the videos are recorded, you can still produce sales.
  • Performing the live-stream is free of charge.

Limitations in the face of live streaming shopping

  • If you want to use your platform to sell live you need to sell through Amazon and accept its prices, conditions and management. This will reduce your margin and reduce traffic to your website.
  • High competition, Amazon is a huge marketplace, it will be difficult to attract new customers and audience, as well as differentiate from the rest.
  • If you want more visibility on the platform you have to pay.
  • Interaction with the audience is reduced to chat.

YouTube live

The advantage of Youtube over the rest of the platforms is that it was born as a platform dedicated to video, which has grown and consolidated over the years. Right now it has millions of videos of all kinds and thousands of creators, called Youtubers, who have been promoting products through their videos for a long time and making money from it. Thanks to this, the platform has a huge number of influencers.

Youtube has Youtube Live for its live streamings, which is another channel inside youtube where you can subscribe. The main broadcasts are news, events, sports, cuisine, programmes. . . Although Youtube is working to be able to offer sales through video and without leaving its platform, for now we can describe its Live channel as a platform for live programmes.

Conclusions

Although many of the big platforms are integrating video selling, they are still far from offering all the features and resources to enable live streaming shopping.

The vast majority allows you to broadcast live, with an unlimited number of users and products seen on a carousel, and you can even buy them without leaving them. We find the problem in the fundamental purpose of live shopping, the interaction with the audience and their engagement.

At the moment, these platforms do not allow more than two people to enter live, making it very difficult for us to invite users who are in the audience to come in, ask questions or share their experience. They also don’t have tools for conducting live giveaways or games to entertain and engage the audience behind the screen.

And last but not least, we have the handicap of latency, which does not have to do with the connection of each user, but with the platform that it broadcasts, and it means a delay in the retransmission, generating in this type of show where interacting with the audience is key, a big problem.

Why do platforms with so many resources not offer a complete solution for live shopping?

It should be borne in mind that these were not created for that purpose and that they have had to pivot and evolve to adapt to current trends. In addition to that they have other large number of features and focal points that should be maintained.

For this reason, some large corporations have decided to create or acquire specific platforms for this purpose. Alibaba has created Taobao in China or Facebook, for example, has bought Vidpresso.

For all these reasons, we offer you Onlive.Site, a platform where you can sell live without limit of users, products or time! Users will be able to shop in the same live via a carousel of products, and without leaving the platform. It also has a payment gateway and integrates with your website, allowing you to store videos and content of your live shows, as well as continue receiving deferred sales.

We enhance interaction with your customers, allowing them to go live to ask questions or share their experiences. Through Onlive.Site you can launch games or contests live. The live streams are free and there is no war of positioning yourself with a check book, captivating users in your live streams will depend only on you.

Whether a show is open to the public or closed to a limited number of customers is up to you. As if you wanted to create a showroom with different simultaneous shows. With Onlive.Site you have endless possibilities.
And of course we have non-latency, that is, with us a live is really live accurate.

Now what are you waiting for? Create your account in less than 5 minutes and start your first live. You have nothing to lose.