1) Set an objective for your live shopping event
A great live show is like a theatrical performance, a whole lot is going on before the curtain even goes up. Think about why you are hosting a live shopping event: Is the goal to create brand awareness? To educate viewers about the product? To improve conversion rates?
“A good live shopping event should either inform, educate or entertain,” says Live Shopping and Ecommerce Expert, Elizabeth Kressel, of Lizard Strategy. So no matter what goal you set for your event, make sure it at least checks one of those boxes.
2) Plan your content
Focusing your shows on the content rather than the merchandise is a great way to get your audience’s attention. Plan a show that is relevant to current events. For example, if you’re in late summer, and you’re an apparel shop, make a live shopping event focused on ways to repurpose your summer clothes going into the fall, and then match your products to that theme.
By matching the show contents with the interests of your viewers, they’ll genuinely learn something new–beyond just products–and will want to come back.
On a more practical level, make sure you have all your transactional content in place before going live, e.g. Thank You-emails and Abandoned Cart-emails.
3) Promote the show on your channels
Leading up to the event, start as early as six weeks to a month beforehand by sharing teasers about the show on your social media platforms. Once a week is enough to slowly get your customers excited. Once you hit the three-week mark, it is time to go a little heavier on the promotion and post at least twice a week on your channels.
And don’t forget your inbound channels. You probably have an email base of subscribers that are already a fan of your brand and your products. So of course, you need to promote your event through email marketing as well. Invite them to your show and intrigue them with your special offers.
4) Keep it short – and do it live
In general, stick with a shorter format for your shows. Especially if you’re new to live shopping, plan a show that will catch–and not least retain–your customers’ attention. Today, Tik Toks and Instagram reels have shortened our attention span for anything that doesn’t immediately catch our eye. As such, it’s exceptionally hard to keep people engaged for longer – so keep your event short and sweet.
Kressel recommends doing live shows over pre-recorded ones. Pre-recorded shows lean more towards live shopping’s predecessor, TV shopping, and generally tend to result in less viewer engagement.
5) Pick the right host
Who should be the star of your shows? It’s important not to get too hung up on finding influencers for your shows, says Kressel. One of your colleagues, who is comfortable in front of a camera, could be just as good, if not better. Your people know the product and represent the store more authentically.
On the other hand, influencers are well-connected and can help increase your reach on their platforms. This is where you need to know your audience and decide what is best for your company. It’s relevant to consider if you are mostly selling to Gen Z and Millennials – or if your customer base is a more mature audience.
6) Increase engagement with interaction and offers – during and after the show
Remember that live shopping is a two-way street, so besides answering the audience’s questions, you should occasionally ask them some as well. By doing so, you will create a much stronger community bond and make the show more captivating.
A great bonus is to do time-limited discounts, but make sure it is valid for at least 24 hours, as most purchases happen post-event.
Another great way to strengthen your community is to offer store pick-up. This is ideal for driving foot traffic to your stores and allows the customer to swing by and meet the hosts. By documenting these meet-and-greets, you even have content for your post-event marketing.
7) Repurpose content for post-show engagement
Make your life easier by reusing, reclipping, and repurposing your live shopping videos. You’ve already put a lot of effort into creating your show, so make the most of it. Re-clip your shows to make shorter versions that you can put on social channels post-event. You can even use static pictures from the show for your regular feed.
Instagram and Tik Tok both have algorithms that could expose your company to a relevant demographic of people who don’t follow you yet. This allows you to reach outside of your followers as well as remind your loyal customers to tune in next time.
If you make your video content shoppable on your social channels, you can also increase your sales post-event. Those who didn’t have time to tune in can now get a taste of the show and hopefully encourage them to participate in the next one.
Now that you know a little more about how to market your event, engage your viewers, and use that video content for your post-event marketing, it’s time to prop up that camera and start your show, break a leg!