Is Live Commerce Changing the Role of the Influencer?

How is Live Commerce Changing the Role of the Influencer

Balancing authenticity and sales in influencer marketing is crucial. Focusing too much on authenticity might limit product endorsement opportunities, while emphasising sales can alienate viewers. Finding a middle ground is key for successful influencer marketing.

Brands are getting savvy, ditching traditional ads for something a bit more genuine. They’re linking arms with those internet creators who know how to grab our attention and keep it. It’s not just about making ads anymore; it’s about making connections. These creators aren’t just good at getting likes or views; they’re building communities, and most importantly, they’re turning those clicks into sales. 

Creators at the Forefront: Modern Marketing

Gone are the days when influencer marketing was all about the numbers game—how many followers an influencer had. Now, it’s about the quality of engagement and the genuine connections that creators can forge with their audience. 

These creators are more than just influencers; they’re storytellers, educators, and entertainers who share content that aligns with their audience’s interests and values. They bring a new depth to digital marketing, where success is measured not just by visibility, but by the authenticity and relevance of the content.

Live Commerce Means Real-Time Sales

The global potential of live commerce is significant, with predictions suggesting it could account for up to 20% of all ecommerce sales by 2026. This growing trend reflects changing consumer preferences, with surveys indicating that 80% of people prefer watching live videos from brands over reading blog posts, and 82% favour live video over other social media content.

As an example, in an unprecedented move, A millionaire at 34 and bigger than “Sunday Night Football,” China’s star saleswoman Viya rules a $60 billion world of live online shopping. Huang Wei can sell anything. For instance: In April, Huang—known professionally as Viya—sold a rocket launch for around 40 million yuan ($5.6 million).

On the other hand, Zheng Xiangxiang’s achievement on Douyin, selling $13.7 million worth of goods in just seven days through rapid product showcases to her 531 million followers, underscores the scalability and effectiveness of live commerce across different market segments. 

These groundbreaking sales underscore live commerce’s capability to transform ecommerce into a powerful retail force.

Other successful implementations of live commerce have led to impressive sales figures. For instance, L’Oréal Paris generated over US$2.7 million in sales from a two-hour live shopping event on Tmall. Similarly, Maybelline’s first live stream on Tmall saw more than 10,000 Lip Flush Oil lipsticks sold, breaking the platform’s sales record for a lip product by tenfold.

Live Commerce Is Growing Up

  • Louis Vuitton: In May 2020, Louis Vuitton became the first international luxury brand to host a live stream on Xiaohongshu. The event, focusing on styling tips for the Summer 2020 collection, attracted over 15,000 live viewers, achieving a 33% engagement rate and gaining 20,000 new followers for Louis Vuitton’s account. This innovative approach during the pandemic helped Louis Vuitton reach a younger demographic, despite some criticism regarding the event’s presentation.

  • Gucci: Gucci launched Gucci Live in May 2020, a remote video shopping service allowing customers to connect with sales associates via one-on-one video calls. This personalised shopping experience effectively mirrored an in-store visit, highlighting Gucci’s commitment to personalised service during the pandemic’s challenges.

  • Walmart: Walmart ventured into live shopping on TikTok in December 2020, marking a significant milestone as it was the first shoppable live stream by a major brand on the platform. The event featured popular TikTok creators and surpassed expectations by achieving seven times the anticipated views, while Walmart’s TikTok followers increased by 25%.

  • ALDO: In 2021, ALDO’s pilot live stream event, hosted by celebrity stylist Mimi Cuttrell and TikTok personality Nate Wyatt, showcased the Spring 2021 collection. This event not only reached an engagement rate of 308% but also drove 17,000 page views to ALDO’s website, with viewers spending an average of 12 minutes and six seconds per session.

Strategic Insights for Brands in Live Commerce

To truly capitalise on the dynamic world of live commerce, brands must carefully choose content creators who align with their values and connect with their target audience on a deeper level. This partnership is more than just a business transaction; it’s about creating a shared narrative that resonates authentically with viewers. Successful live commerce hinges on more than just showcasing products; it’s about creating an interactive and immersive experience. Brands should take full advantage of live streaming’s interactive capabilities, engage viewers with exclusive offers, and actively incorporate their feedback in real-time. 

Navigating the Future with Content Creators Leading the Way

As the landscape of marketing continues to evolve, the role of content creators becomes increasingly central. Their ability to connect with audiences on a personal level, combined with their creativity and digital savviness, makes them invaluable partners for brands looking to navigate the complex world of online retail. The future of influencer marketing and live commerce will undoubtedly be shaped by the innovative collaborations between brands and creators, with authenticity and engagement remaining key to capturing the hearts and wallets of consumers.

Embracing the New Era of Influencer Marketing

To evolve influencer marketing within the live commerce landscape effectively, balancing genuine engagement with strategic promotion is crucial. On one side, the push for authenticity demands influencers to be sincere in their endorsements, choosing to promote products they genuinely like and use. This authenticity resonates with audiences, building trust and loyalty, which are essential in a live commerce environment where immediate interaction can make or break a sale.

However, there’s also the business side to consider. Brands and influencers need to maintain a professional approach to ensure the live commerce sessions are not only engaging but also drive sales. This involves careful selection of products, planning content that balances entertainment with information, and using call-to-actions smartly without overwhelming viewers.

Challenges arise in maintaining this balance. Too much focus on authenticity can sometimes limit the range of products an influencer feels comfortable endorsing, potentially missing out on lucrative deals. Conversely, overemphasising sales can alienate viewers, making live sessions feel like extended commercials, thus losing the personal touch that makes live commerce appealing.

To navigate these challenges, influencer marketing should strive for a middle ground. Influencers can be transparent about sponsored content while sharing personal anecdotes or demonstrating how they integrate products into their daily lives. Meanwhile, brands should respect the influencer’s voice and audience, allowing creative freedom to present products in a way that feels natural and engaging.

Ultimately, the evolution of influencer marketing in live commerce hinges on striking the right balance between authenticity and commercial objectives. By doing so, brands and influencers can meet customer expectations, fostering an environment where genuine connections lead to successful sales outcomes.

Also Recommended: Top 10 Global Marketing Influencers To Watch