The growth of live streaming e-commerce platforms all over the world has been pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic. The demand for livestream shopping platforms is great, but so is the competition, and live streaming is an under-looked technique that you can use to make your e-commerce brand stand out and grow.
Take a moment to let that sink in.
We are becoming so accustomed to using video chats and video streaming that we overlook how impressive this technology is and how this technology is at the forefront of today's unbelievable human progress. Streaming video is a unique type of content because it is all about being right here, right now. This being here in the present allows you to create a more significant emotional and personal connection with your customers than most other means.
The potential and power behind this method of online presence are incredible, and the possibilities are endless. We have a practical use case from a Portuguese online store, Evolt, that sells 3D printing consumables and products. Evolt has leveraged live streaming to outgrow the market to establish the largest 3D Printing community group in Portugal and consequently increase the conversion rates on their live commerce platform.
Case Study: How a 3D Printing E-Commerce Company uses Video Streaming to Grow its Audience Base and Sales
It's part of our nature as "Makers" (all types of people from DIY & crafts lovers, home scientists, engineers, inventors, people who like to build things with their hands...) to help each other and share the projects we are working on, and share product recommendations based on those projects online. Because of this, most makers love to hang out on forums and places such as Facebook groups where these experiences and knowledge sharing are socially encouraged and facilitated. However, we noticed that the community was spread apart across multiple Facebook groups (some private) and pages. We quickly started contemplating the power and possibility of bringing them all together into one large open community dedicated to 3D printing. For this, we needed to easily reach them by sharing the same live stream for all.
As business owners, we first thoroughly research and analyze that we are using the best solutions out there for our company. OneStream Live is our prime choice for a reliable live streaming platform owing to its commendable features. It precisely meets our needs, enabling us to reach all our customers simultaneously and across several social media platforms, including YouTube and Instagram.
Through these different (but targeted) local groups in the "Maker", DIY, and 3D printing niches, we have managed in less than five months to currently grow our own as the largest existing 3D printing dedicated group in the country, with over 8000 engaged members who interact daily.
“The best part is that nearly all of these social platforms give a lot of attention to video streaming, with push notifications and prioritizing you in everyone's walls. Since everyone is carrying their mobile devices, it makes it relatively easy to reach a lot of people quickly at once." – Rogério Matos, CEO Evolt
Our primary business strategy for the live streams is to make giveaways where we offer niche-related products (that only our target niche will be interested in) to the participating audience. Giveaways provide the advantage that they help attract many people, plus it allows you to give back to the community and strengthen your bond with it.
Also, since the giveaways are done in real-time through live streaming and dozens of people watching us live, it transmits fairness and transparency, with the added benefit of associating your brand with these values.
Establishing an audience base, being able to chat and help the consumers directly in this open environment, and recommending the most efficient products for their projects, we saw our online sales more than double. It's social streaming commerce at its best. You help the users with their difficulties, and they help your company by shopping with you. The best of all is that you see directly what the consumers want/are searching for, and you can update your offer accordingly to serve them best.
Key Lessons from Evolt
Here is a summary, as well as a couple more actionable ideas on how you can leverage live streaming as a marketing strategy to grow your e-commerce business:
#1 Market Everywhere for Maximum Growth Opportunity
Broadcast the same stream to multiple platforms, specifically targeting the places where your audience is. For example, search for Facebook groups related to your store niche, become part of these groups, take advantage of Onestream Live multistreaming feature to broadcast your stream to all of them. You have the market advantage because with Onestream Live, you can multistream to more than 40 social media platforms simultaneously and from one dashboard.
#2 Attract, Stimulate and Reward your Audience
Use proven methods that attract a target audience, such as giveaways. Ensure your product is sought after and related to the niche, or you run the risk of attracting the wrong audience.
Create challenges that stimulate user engagement. In Evolt’s case, they challenge the audience to share photos of their best 3D prints or 3D print something functional and show examples of how they fixed something at home with the help of the 3D printer. So, if, for instance, you run a store in the dog/cat/pet niche, you could ask people to submit the funniest videos of their pets. Draw the giveaway between all the participants or give the prize to the best one; it's up to you, but make this a consistent effort. You will quickly get your audience comfortable enough to participate frequently.
#3 Chat With and Answer Questions Directly from your Customers
Live stream tutorials, discuss exciting topics within your niche, tackle challenging questions, and show live how people can solve them. Through a live stream, you will take people's questions and answer them in real-time. Evolt 3D printing store uses some fascinating topics to engage with its audience – 3D Printing for beginners, How to choose a 3D printer, What are the most accessible materials to print with, How to print with complex materials, How to paint or give finishing touches to your 3D printed parts, and so forth.
You can and should always re-purpose this content later for other platforms by cutting up the most important/valuable/informative parts (or the funny ones) and posting them on relevant social media platforms so that other users may find them. With OneStream Live, you can even also do the opposite by repurposing already created content and streaming pre-recorded videos.
#4 Influencer Marketing and Showcasing Products
Invite relevant guests to your live streams (it doesn't have to be physical, you can always use Zoom, Google Hangouts, or one of the many other alternatives). Bring on relevant people in your industry on your live stream, for example, manufacturers or famous people in the community (social media influencers / micro-influencers) to discuss exciting topics in the niche or to showcase how to use a product, make a product launch, or to talk about/show how an actual product made their life better.
#5 Content from the Company's Backstage
Live stream the backstage, show parts of the daily routine of what it means to work at your place/store, share the difficulties and the successes, and it's bound to create a bond with the consumers.
The Key to Growth and Being Successful
The world of live commerce, shopping, and marketing is constantly changing, so are the user engagement levels and consumer behavior. But there is one thing that will always stay true no matter how much things change – the power of live streaming.
So, what’s the one most valuable takeaway from Evolt?
Give, give, give, before taking from the community. Don’t make your live streams look fancifully promotional, rather make them genuinely helpful to the user community. Focus on projecting them as truly helpful in delivering solutions to their problems. Being live requires you to be very transparent. So, focus on integrity, business values, and above all on helping the online customer.
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