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With Live Shopping thriving on TikTok and expanding to YouTube, why is Facebook shutting it down?

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Jennifer Cox

Live shopping is an influencer-driven eCommerce marketing strategy that works like an updated home shopping channel. You see a product you like through a live video presentation and then have the option to purchase it using links on social media apps. "Live Shopping" derives from live-stream videos; however, shopping using apps such as Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, or (soon) YouTube is possible through all video formats and is not restricted to live videos. In addition, ecommerce sellers can use video content to sell products during live or pre-recorded videos. 

 

Live-stream shopping is a powerful force. In the US, projections for eCommerce revenue from live online shopping are $35 billion by 2024. So why is Facebook shutting down live shopping options? This post will discuss this and other aspects of live shopping.

 

TikTok Live Shopping is Exploding

TikTok is booming with Livestream selling and purchasing. This is not surprising when you consider trending hashtags like #tiktokmademebuyit boasting 6.6+ billion views and studies showing TikTok users are almost twice as likely to purchase products discovered through the app. TikTok's impact on social shopping culture is significant. 

 

Despite this explosive growth, Social Media Today reports TikTok is scaling back its live eCommerce initiative in Europe and the US. It appears they have paused expansion to shift their focus to fixing some operational challenges they are experiencing due to their rapid, expansive growth. However, scaling back does not mean they will remove the shopping feature like Meta is on Facebook. 

 

YouTube & Shopify are Teaming Up

YouTube is entering the live shopping arena by teaming up with Shopify. Live shopping tools allow YouTube viewers to purchase products without leaving the website. Adding a shopping feature to their platform will help YouTube retain viewers who may otherwise choose to leave the platform to shop elsewhere for products content creators promote. 

 

YouTube creators have always been able to link products in video descriptions. With the new partnership between YouTube and Shopify, creators can connect directly to their Shopify store. In addition, viewers can buy from Shopify stores without leaving the YouTube platform. This new feature helps creators and YouTube benefit from viewers staying on the platform as long as possible.

 

Whatnot's Exponential Growth

Whatnot, a community marketplace for buying and selling reports, tripled monthly sales in 2022 after an impressive 20x growth year over year from 2020-2021. Whatnot is a young company founded in 2019 that is banking on market projections and sales from video content, remaining consumers' preferred shopping method. 

 

Why is Facebook Shutting Down Live Shopping?

In light of revenue earnings and projected growth, it’s somewhat shocking to learn that Facebook is shutting down its live shopping feature on October 1, 2022. In a recent blog post, Meta announced that Facebook is shifting its focus to Reels, citing a change in consumer viewing behavior to short-form videos. Reels are top-rated on Instagram, and Meta owns both Facebook and Instagram. It appears the move is geared towards sharing the popularity of Reels with Facebook users. Live Shopping on Instagram will remain an available option, and reels on Facebook will be shoppable.

 

Live Social Media Selling

We mentioned that selling options on social media are available through live video and pre-recorded video shopping options. All signs point to a live stream. Live content garners a 27% increase in minutes watched per viewing over pre-recorded videos. 

 

Other benefits of live stream selling include increasing website traffic and building better customer relationships. Live streams with interactive chats help make a human connection between a brand and consumer. Going live for selling also creates a stronger recall as customers are more likely to remember the brand and what they liked about it. Another benefit involves reducing the amount of returns brands receive following live stream purchases. Customers have a better idea about what to expect from a product and have an opportunity to ask questions before buying.

 

Store Automator

 

Retail and social eCommerce is an industry that continues to grow. Already seeing billions of dollars in sales and predicted to exceed $50 billion by 2023. Do you have an eCommerce business? Store Automator is here to help. You can streamline and manage your eCommerce business, expand to new channels and increase your sales from a simple, streamlined platform. Experts in multichannel management, Store Automator is an eCommerce solution ready to help you manage rapid growth as social media selling continues to explode.

 

Contact us today to schedule a demo!


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