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The Era of Social Shopping Has Landed – and it’s Going to be Big!

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Here at BRANDED, we’re pretty sure 2022 could be the year when social media shopping takes off in a big way, with fantastic opportunities for social selling to maximize profits! For a lot of consumers today, the thought of a physical shopping trip means a lot of hard work – endless aisles of searching, limited choice and just grabbing the bare essentials before paying and heading back home. Recently, for more and more customers, social shopping has opened up a whole load of opportunities to make an enjoyable experience – chatting with friends or favorite influencers, exchanging opinions, and interacting with new products and brands.

At BRANDED, our teams are always on the lookout for new and exciting opportunities for e-commerce, and we look to emerging trends across all markets to see where the next new big thing may be coming from. In markets such as Asia, e-commerce has always worked a bit differently with successes and insights often reappearing in the US and Europe some time later.

In Asia, online shopping is seen as an enjoyable thing to do and a form of entertainment, and this is where innovations like social shopping really started to take off. Social shopping allows interaction with sellers, influencers and new products and allows shoppers to feel part of a brand’s story. BRANDED has seen this colorful, interactive experience gradually gain popularity in western markets and we’re positioned right at the front of this e-commerce revolution, ensuring it’s an integral part of all our brands.

It’s Impossible to Underestimate the E-commerce Power of Social Shopping

Whether it’s shopping via social media or ‘live-shopping’ through live-streaming platforms, at BRANDED we’re pretty sure there’s no denying the influence and power that these e-commerce methods can have on business growth and sales. In the US, livestream shopping has really grown in popularity, due in part to reality TV personalities and franchises starting their own livestream shopping opportunities. The Bravo Bazaar for example, makes use of virtual shopping with ‘shoppable rooms’ hosted by the stars of it’s own Real Housewives franchise. Here, the personalities that are carefully chosen to showcase the products, are a natural fit with the interests of shoppers, who can interact with their favorite influencers and buy products featured in the show as well as their favorite stars’ promoted items.

The right personality to host your live-shopping experience is absolutely essential to its success with your audience. BRANDED believes this is an e-commerce trend that is here to stay, with sales from live shopping expected to surpass $25 billion by 2023 in the US alone, and 96% of users relying on videos to learn more about a product or service, and 84% of users converted to make a purchase after seeing a video.

Amazon is also making moves into the live shopping arena, following other e-commerce marketplaces’ lead, like Alibaba, and has recently launched opportunities for influencers to reach their audiences in new ways. Influencers are able to go live for up to 1-hour at a time, presenting new collections or curated favorites, and introducing new products and brands to users.

Livestream shopping events are already well-established ways to interact with customers and promote products and brands, with no sign of consumers’ appetites for this kind of interactive content waning. Livestream shopping events on platforms such as Amazon and Facebook have shown signs of success, even if there’s plenty of room for growth. On Black Friday, BRANDED hosted events across Instagram, Facebook, Amazon and TikTok – Instagram and TikTok brought in high views and interactions and Amazon is growing as more and more influencers and brands work together across the platform.

However, this e-commerce live-stream way of selling is still very much in the tryout stage and, on Amazon in particular, is currently still attempting to emerge from a niche enterprise – buyers want engaging content alongside easy purchasing models and product inventory tools. The appetite from consumers for events like Amazon Live shopping is there, but with still a few bugs in the format the big marketplaces still have a way to go.

For one of our brands, OTOTO, TikTok has been a crucial and influential platform for promoting its whimsical household items to an engaged audience. Items such as the Al Dente Spaghetti Tester and Red the Crab Spoon Holder gained millions of views, going viral with keen shoppers and attesting to the power of social shopping to drive views to actual purchases. In fact, TikTok users are 1.7 times more likely to purchase an item they see on the app. Through the way customers are able to engage and discover brands and live shop with their peers and favorite influencers, a brand can make a real impact into new markets and gain a loyal and profitable following and customer base.

New Dogs, Old Tricks…?

We don’t know about you, but at BRANDED we’ve got a feeling of deja-vu when it comes to live shopping – perhaps it isn’t such a new idea? After all – television shopping channels have been around since the 80’s in the US with HSN, and later, QVC dominating  live-selling media for an older generation until only relatively recently. With the dawn of new platforms and channels capturing the imaginations of a new generation of shoppers, one thing is for sure – whoever wins the race to make live shopping a success, will be big winners.

At BRANDED, we’re excited to see which brands innovate in this area and put themselves out there to give live shopping a go. We’ve got high hopes for its potential as another sales channel for our sellers and we can’t wait to see what new innovations our brands can discover!

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