Myth No.1 Running a livestream is expensive

Minimizing expenses and maximizing profit is the core principle of pretty much any business.

A major friction point for retailers that are new to livestream shopping events is the unknown expenses behind streaming. While the truth is that some equipment, such as the Sony PXW-X400KF - 16x Lens Kit camera used by professional broadcasters has a steep price of up to €22,662 ($26,692.44), retailers need to understand that this kind of equipment is not necessary for shopping events.

The reality is that camera technology has gone so far that your smartphone has a camera far superior to many cameras from the past. All you need to add to that is a stand with a smartphone light, which you can get for around €24 ($28), and you are stream-ready. A little craftiness can save you a lot of money, so don’t shy away from livestreams if the only issue is the price, as it can be run cheaply.

Once you see the sales pouring in start thinking about investing in better equipment, new mics, lighting, cameras, and more. Until that point (since most people watch these events on their mobile phone devices) your smartphone, some lighting, and a nice backdrop will be more than enough.

Livestream event being broadcasted from a phone. The event depicts people chatting in a queue
You don’t need any expensive equipment to stream, a smartphone is enough.

Myth No.2 You need to be (or hire) a tech specialist to run a livestream

Similar to the previous point, you are not here to impress people with your sound or video quality, you are a retailer and therefore your viewers are here to buy what you are selling.

The operational side of running a livestream is actually pretty simple. Most platforms have a step-by-step guide on how to do it. Issues might arise with mainstream platforms such YouTube or Twitch, as they don’t yet present the purchasing options you might need.

Korkuma, a product we are really excited to release soon, should eliminate these friction points while also presenting a seamless and easy-to-use website implementation. There are others who are developing such products so do some research to see what might work best for you.

Regardless of the stream provider you choose to use, it will be your products and services that will do the majority of the heavy lifting.

Black & white photo of a woman reading and being recorded in a studio, taken in 1954
You don’t need to be a tech whizz in order to go live.

Myth No.3 Livestreaming requires professional presenters

One of the biggest changes in traditional media over the last 20 years is in the presenters.

Videogame livestreaming and the rise of YouTube personalities unleashed a new era of on-screen hosts. PewDiePie, the single biggest individual YouTuber, recently passed the 20 billion total video view mark. Those are numbers smaller TV stations will never even dream about. PewDiePie’s content is not highly overproduced and he doesn’t have a major supporting crew. But he is authentic.

Authenticity is something that allows viewers to connect with streamers, unlike traditional TV presenters. Because of the nature of the format, the gap between an audience and a traditional TV presenter is wide, therefore eliminating any chance of establishing a connection. With livestream shopping, you will normally have access to a live chat which allows you to interact with your customers.

If you still feel insecure, shy, or for any other reason think you are not the right person for hosting, as someone who worked in retail I highly recommend looking at your staff. They will know your products front to back and give your audience an authentic experience. Trust yourself and your staff.

Myth No.4 No one will watch my stream

Dead streams are a reality, but one that can be easily avoided.

The main reason behind this tends to be a lack of awareness. You need to promote your event to the best of your ability. Newsletters, building a social media presence, or paid promotions, all of these can be a valid source for your livestream to reach a new audience.

Eventbrite published a fantastic article about hosting online events that can help you put your stream on the map.

So what do we think about these myths?

  • You don’t need expensive equipment to stream, your setup can be effective on a small budget, most people watch streams on their phones anyway
  • The technology behind livestreams is becoming more user-friendly every day, the heavy lifting is done by what you sell anyway
  • You can get a presenter for your stream, but you and your staff can give the authentic experience shoppers will be looking for
  • Avoiding dead air is easy with a little promotion

At the end of the day, the worst thing to do is to do nothing. Try streaming, see what happens, learn from your mistakes, and if you have any questions our team is always here to help.