In the past couple of years, there’s been an increasingly popular method of business that makes full use of the ‘live video’ feature on social media. These are usually done by small, internet-based stores. The store owner will host a live video session on Facebook, Instagram, or Youtube featuring the products they sell as a way to draw in more customers and increase sales. The videos can be either to announce a launch of a specific product or range of products, a review of various items on offer, or even a live auction for a selection of items.
How it works in an auction video is the seller will start with one item. They’ll describe the item in detail, show it off, show you how it can be used, and tell you all the best things about that one item. They also might answer a few questions on the item that they see popping up in the comments section. After a few minutes of showcase and showmanship, the seller will give out a code for the item and then the bidding starts in the comments. There’s also usually a time limit attached so you have a limited period for bidding. They then move on to the next item and start it all over again.
One such example is Ms Lerine Yeo of Miss Shopper Boutique on Facebook.
Her videos and others like it are reminiscent of those American TV shopping channels – they have the same frenetic vibe of constant talking and high-powered enthusiasm that is both entertaining and urgent at the same time. They barely stop to take a breath and are very engaging and something funny.
And you can tell that people like it since she has over 1,000 people tuning in to listen to her pitch. And the comments are rolling in super fast too. In the above video, you'll notice viewers asking Lerine to show them a specific item again or asking her to elaborate on the details of a particular item.
SO while she's presenting, she's also answering questions and making extremely relateable jokes to her Singaporean audience. It's engaging. Lerine can even immediately see if people like her video or not based on the reactions that are flying into the screen on the bottom right. The instant gratification works both ways here.
Though it might look like a lot of effort for just one video, the payoff can significantly make up for it. In some cases, the seller is so captivating that they can sell off their entire collection in an hour. And the success of a live video sale often leaks into their regular e-store sales numbers as well.
Bloggers and vloggers have found a away to bring the traditional TV shopping method into the 21st century. After all, everyone spends more time online than in front of the TV now anyway.
I think the appeal of a live video is that it gives people a chance to really see the items in a way that a photo can’t convey. You’re almost there with the seller in their store, seeing how the item works or feels, giving you a better idea of what it is you’re looking at. From the seller’s perspective, they can spend a little more time convincing you to love what you’re looking at and make that purchase before stocks run out. They're tapping into that FOMO (fear of missing out) that we all have and it seems to be working.