Live shopping, the future of eCommerce

Live shopping, or livestream shopping as we call it, is an elegant solution to connect you with your customers who have been: isolating, live far away, or simply wish to shop from the comfort of their home. Livestream events have a rather simple setup. All a retailer needs is a recording device, someone to host the stream, and items to showcase. The format resembles old-school teleshopping, however, technologies of 2021 make the whole arrangement simpler. Livestream shopping also eliminates one of the big problems in eCommerce, scarce information about products. You can have the most in-depth written description of a product, but it will never beat an influencer testing, trying, and showcasing the same product live. On top of that, slow response rates to customer questions are eliminated if your presenter interacts with live chat, usually built within livestreaming platforms.

This trend is already catching on with big tech giants such as Amazon and Instagram implementing their own versions of livestream shopping technology. Other European brands, such as Orsay or Zalando are getting 3rd party companies to develop livestreaming, and some smaller brands even use Twitch, YouTube, or Facebook to broadcast their live shopping.

Alizila
Livestream Shopping is already gaining traction amongst big brands.

The biggest eCommerce spenders are female and young people

To maximize your profits you need to understand your main clientele. Females in Southeast Asia are responsible for 4 out of 5 eCommerce purchases. According to the Zalora report the female empowerment of millennial and younger generations has created a new form of shoppers never seen before. Women in Southeast Asia are more prominent than men in tertiary education and often take on roles of decision-makers in their households. This generation of Southeast Asian millennial women and Gen Zs with their newfound liberty is more likely to spend their money on some good retail therapy. While we noticed the female dominance in eCommerce, another astounding gap is between age groups. People aged 36 and above only represent around 35% of all purchases, whereas ages 35 and below amount to the remaining 65% of all sales. These stats indicate that the future is young, female, and ready to spend.

Online store or physical stores? Why not both?

There is a common misconception that the age of ‘High Street shopping’ is over. The pre-pandemic decline in sales for physical stores and the subsequent Covid-fueled devastation that followed create an idea that soon, eCommerce will be the only form of shopping. In Singapour, 75% of consumers claimed to keep shopping online even post the pandemic.

The 2019 Future Shopper report gave some interesting insights into Gen Z and their habits. Gen Z is online all the time and 49% of them look for inspiration on social media. According to the report, 53% of Gen Z prefer to shop with a brand that has both an online and a physical store. What discourages Gen Z from physical stores is not the act of actually going in, but rather the lack of innovative experiences.

While these sentiments do paint a dark future for physical stores, the truth is a little more complex than that. Where malls once represented a place of respite where you could hang out with friends, social interactions are increasingly moving to the online world. This has created a new rising movement that calls for retail Omni-channels, combining online & physical into one experience. Ayala Malls, a Philipino-based company is at the forefront of this new movement with their latest app that allows people to map out the quickest routes in a mall, seamlessly blurring the lines between offline and online channels.

Smartphones enable the rise of e-wallets

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology have been hitting the news a lot recently, as their values have been skyrocketing. While we all know that cryptocurrencies became a lucrative investment opportunity, the technology behind them is what should really pique the interest of shop owners, as this technology is expanding into retail.

While smartphones are slowly becoming the main and only device used for purchases, with around 86% of total purchases done via smartphones, consumers demand more frictionless forms of payment. Banks are obviously trying to adapt to that, but more and more people are seeking out alternatives in the form of e-wallets, which are powered by blockchain technology. While the majority of e-wallets are still used for trading, around 54%, approximately 40% are used for online shopping & gaming. To stay ahead of the curve your business should aim to adapt to this trend and look into creating options for your consumers to pay using e-wallets.

So what should you look out for?

To sum up, the great kingdom of eCommerce known as Southeast Asia, seems to indicate 4 major trends

  • Livestream shopping is the future of connecting with your customers in a new and personal way.
  • As millennials and Gen Zs are hitting working age, while women are becoming more equal, your future customers will be female and younger generations.
  • Omni-channels are the latest movement in retail, combining online and offline into one. Innovation is the key.
  • E-wallets have been rising as an alternative to standard forms of banking.

Hope you found this article informative and you can stay ahead of the curve.