Livestream shopping grows with help from brands like Walmart and Pinterest

Retailers can tell stories, launch new products and provide trusted recommendations

Livestream merchandising via social media is gaining traction as retailers continue working to reach customers where they are. Shopping via livestream is a more interactive and fun commerce experience that simulates the social aspect of shopping and allows brands to tell a story with their products, launch new products or partnerships and stand out as a marketing tactic.

Last month Twitter launched Live Shopping with Walmart, the first retailer to host an ecommerce livestream on the social network. Users were able to shop via Walmart's Twitter page while an influencer reviewed a variety of products.

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Through Pinterest TV’s live shoppable series, viewers can chat with hosts and ask questions about products in real time while shopping discounts from a variety of brands like Allbirds, Outdoor Voices, Mented Cosmetics and more.

YouTube is working to build an “organic live shopping experience” through its creator reviews, which offer an experience similar to the trusted guidance of an in-store associate, says Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer. According to a YouTube study in partnership with Publicis and TalkShoppe, 89 percent of viewers agree that YouTube creators give recommendations they can trust. YouTube's Holiday Stream and Shop kicked off last month and features a variety of popular YouTube influencers hosting livestreams and offering discounts, giveaways and more to their viewers. 

According to livestreaming platform buywith, retailers that choose to adopt livestream shopping should “give it time” and commit to multiple sessions a week for at least six months. They should also choose influencers who feel authentic and evaluate success based on livestream attendance and duration stayed during livestream over revenue.

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