eCommerce is the vampire of the retail world.
Fast, attractive, and, as of the way things look right now, immortal. With the rate of worldwide internet access continuing to grow, the revenue that online shopping generates yearly is becoming more and more impressive.
Let’s take into account 2020: a year we have all spent in the middle of a global pandemic which led to collapsing economies, and yet still managed to have 2 billion people purchase things online, generating 4.2 trillion U.S. dollars worth of sales worldwide.
Have we convinced you yet that eCommerce app development is the way to go in 2021?
It is quite easy to picture, looking at the statistics, what a good eCommerce strategy can generate for you in terms of sales. From the huge pie of global retail sales, eCommerce managed to cut itself a generous slice of 18 percent.
Taking it one step forward: The Live Sale
Retail is customer-centric; quite self-explanatory so far, right? No customers means no sales. Therefore, a good eCommerce customer experience is imperative in order to grow your business and generate the kind of traffic that makes your online store a success.
While many people have always gravitated towards making their purchases online, some have valued having a chance to inspect the product they are buying more than being able to buy it from the comfort of their own home.
And who can blame them? When making a purchase, we all like to make sure that we are making the right choice.
How can we change that?
First, having an app makes the experience much smoother and enjoyable; you can learn more about how accessible eCommerce app development really is by visiting the Vajro website.
Furthermore, if people can't do their shopping live, bring live shopping to them! Allow them to analyze your product, engage with it and see for themselves that what you are selling is exactly what they need!
This informational article from Shopify can also give you a pretty good understanding of why live selling is the future of online retail.
A success story with live stream shopping: Bloomingdale’s
…and they lived happily ever after. Why? Because they know how to stay on top of their industry, and jumped on the live sale train. And trust us, it’s not just any train, it’s the Shanghai Maglev.
The huge luxury American department store chain, which sells everything from clothes and jewelry to furniture and housewares, took serious action during the COVID-19 pandemic, holding over 50 live online sales. From discussions to demonstrations and tutorials, the retail giant made sure to tap into every possible benefit that live streaming can bring in terms of connecting, informing and ultimately selling.
In an article published by resonate, we can take a closer look at what a Bloomingdale’s customer really looks like: young, tech-savvy and looking for an exciting and fun shopping experience. The department store definitely knew who they were catering for when they opted for live streams, and so should you, as we are about to cover in the 3 steps to an optimized live stream selling strategy.
The 3 steps to optimizing live sales
With the global COVID-19 pandemic hitting us full force in 2020 (and not seeming like it is going to show itself out of the metaphoric door of our world anytime soon), online shopping has become the only resort for almost everyone, including those more skeptical of this practice. As 2021 comes to an end and 2022 begins, now more than ever, focusing on ecommerce is the right thing to do.
The customer is cornered into swapping their mall strolls and window shopping with internet browsing. Therefore, how do we show them the light at the end of the tunnel?
You’ve seen what building a mobile app for your online store can do, and you’ve learned about how live stream selling can upscale your business.
Now allow us to walk you through the steps that will take everything to the next level.
Step 1: Encourage engagement
You’re about to hold your first stream, but you need to ensure that you’re not doing it in vain; engagement is important in order for the live to drive sales. The whole purpose of doing it is to encourage your customers to feel more connected with what you’re selling.
Know your target audience
Are you selling party dresses or maternity clothes? Beauty products or hunting essentials?
Whatever it is that your business is about, or whatever target product you wish to showcase, you need to present it to the right people. Having the correct demographic tune in to your live stream automatically boosts your probability of success.
Choose your platform
It’s essential to acknowledge Vajro’s seamless integration with Shopify. No other business will make it as easy to go from Shopify store to app with amazing features such as live selling.
Vajro’s features allow you to choose where your stream will take place, and you should put some serious thought into the option you will go with.
If you are targeting the customers that already know about your mobile app, you can live stream directly on there.
If the goal is to drive outside people to your app and towards your products, a Facebook Page live is sure to do the trick. Better yet, a Facebook Group will make you even more sure that the people you are streaming to hold a real interest for what you have to offer. Both options are supported by Vajro, in order to ensure you get the most out of your live sales.
Do not forget to take into consideration time zones. If you are selling worldwide, then your target audience not being asleep is quite mandatory in order for you to sell.
At the same time, different age groups may have different times of online browsing. Someone who is business driven will be more inclined to unwind with some shopping in the afternoon rather than in the middle of their work day.
Do you know when your users are online? Start thinking about it!
Promote, promote, promote!
Is someone special hosting? Are there any customer rewards, any exclusive product reveals? Create buzz around your live stream ahead of time!
Periodically post and notify about the live sale, this will help you in building anticipation and growing interest. Draw in the buyers you want in advance, so when you actually stream, you’ll worry less about who’ll join and more about how to take care of all those new orders!
Step 2: Analyze customer needs, reviews, and inquiries
The reason live streams work so well in raising the number of sales on your eCommerce app is that it makes your customers feel engaged, heard, and makes their experience more fun and exciting.
The sure way to keep them entertained and looking forward to your streams is to ensure that their experience is great. So great, in fact, that maybe they’ll recommend it to some friends!
Keeping an eye out on what they say before the live stream during it through the live chat or after, through reviews or inquiries, helps you build an optimization strategy that will boost your Shopify sales in no time!
By using the integrations that Vajro offers wisely and to your own advantage! We’ll make a list and show you some of those handy integrations, so you can see exactly what we’re talking about. You can also read about all of them here!
Needs, reviews, inquiries
There are not one, not two, but seven total integrations that allow you to collect customer reviews on your app.
Let’s put a spotlight on the various things they can do.
They allow you to request and collect reviews, as well as display them on your app. The request can go through email, Facebook Messenger or even SMS, raising the probability of your customer putting their laziness aside and writing something about what they purchased.
They can upload pictures and videos of what they are reviewing, which gives future buyers much more confidence in the reviews they are reading. It also gives you a better idea of what they liked, disliked, and what others like to see.
Q&A’s are both your and your customers’ best friend. They get to ask questions and have them answered by other people, or even you, but it also gives you an idea on what the public would like to learn more about.
Personally looking through what people have to say is incredibly important. Getting first-hand insight on how everything is running and what you can address and market more on your streams is one of the keys to building the correct eCommerce strategy based on customer feedback.
However, having a little helper in the form of a great integration is definitely something to be excited about. Apart from the well-known Google Analytics, you also have Flurry by your side to analyze everything you could possibly need regarding traffic and engagement, which also relate to the customer experience.
Step 3: Optimize live sales on your mobile app
Now that you have in mind how to encourage engagement and what to use in order to gather information from customers themselves, it’s time to get started on your actual strategy. For this step, we find it easier to use a clear example. You can also learn more about catering to your customers reading this article.
You’ve opened an online store for maternity clothes, and you’ve created an amazing app for it. Now, you’re prepared to start boosting your sales through live streams.
You’ve posted about live streams on social media, specifically a designated Facebook Group that targets your desired audience: women expecting a child. Great! Promotion and a good choice of platform.
Let’s break it down in “substeps” from here.
1: Choose the right time
Yes, we’ve mentioned it in step 1, but it’s an important part of your optimization strategy. Your store sells mainly to mothers-to-be in the US, so you know your timezone (if the store were international, you’d find somewhat of a middle ground, however keeping in mind where the majority of your sales come from, at least continent-wise). They might also be either already on leave, stay at home, or still working, so it’s best to choose a time that best suits that.
2: Look at the customer feedback
Chances are, you’ve already gathered some reviews on your products and questions about them. For our hypothetical maternity clothing store, people have generally rated your dresses the highest.
The pants, however, have not sold as well, and there seem to be quite a few questions about the material and general fit.
No problem! Now, you can move on to step 3!
3: Choose the stars of your stream
The dresses sell well, and they are a known and beloved item in your shop, so they most definitely must make an appearance.
However, maternity pants should take center stage. Your aim is to boost the sales of an otherwise less popular item, by presenting it attractively and offering answers in a clear, direct manner (which talking will make it easier than replying in text).
Show them the product that made them trust your shop, and prove to them why the pants are just as amazing! You’ll be sure to make a great hit with all the new customers who’ve never bought from you before the stream.
4: Don’t forget, a stream means entertainment
Yes, it is shopping, and yes, you are using it as a means of advertisement, but, for the viewer, it needs to be more than that.
Back to the hypothetical maternity store. Bring a pregnant woman on, to demonstrate just how comfy and fashionable the clothes are! Make a fashion show and a Q&A.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on the live chat: interact with the people if possible, or note any questions and feedback they might have while watching. Their immediate response is extremely important.
5: The stream is over: now what?
Now comes the second part of analysis of the general customer experience, as well as how the live stream has impacted sales. Here’s a checklist of things you can keep an eye out for in between streams:
- How many people watched the stream?
- What was the general feedback during the live? And how do you measure it?
- How many sales were generated by the live stream?
If you answer these, you’ll get the general idea of what went well and what needs to change, as well as realize what to focus on for the next stream. Perhaps some maternity bras?
The live sale optimization strategy in summary
ECommerce is the present and future of retail; the statistics show it, all the online stores around you show it, and your own business will show it as well once you start embracing the wonderful world of live selling.
To summarize the strategy we’ve so beautifully presented earlier through that witty maternity store analogy, let’s go through the most important takeaways from this guide (this time without the baby-bump-friendly fashion).
As we’ve established in the beginning, eCommerce customer experience matters!
The customer is the one that keeps your business going and your sales rising, therefore everything you plan, you plan with their best interest in mind, and implicitly, yours.
Your live stream needs to be well-prepared, well executed, and well analyzed afterwards. And most importantly, fun!
Shopping is a relaxing activity, a pleasurable one. Prove to your viewer, and possible customer, that, with you, they’re not getting some reheated leftovers, they’re getting dinner AND a show (we know, we know, but this analogy game is just too fun!).
Try to be as original as possible when implementing your strategy. Your product must remain the center of attention, of course, so get creative around it. Imagine that you need to put big flashy neon arrows pointing to your star products of the stream, not away from it.
Invite someone exciting to host, promise a surprise for those who stick around till the end, the possibilities are endless.
The general and most important takeaway from this guide is this: view your streams as never-ending opportunities to learn more about your clients and your own business. Your strategy evolves with your viewers and your products, so it is never really complete or in its finite form. There are always new ideas, tricks, and plans that you can put into motion.
All you have to do is pay attention to your customers’ opinions and the numbers they generate. The rest will build naturally on that foundation if you follow all the steps.
It’s easier than you think!
Looking at it in such a detailed way, at all the aspects that need to be taken into consideration, it may feel a little overwhelming. After all, building an app for your store is not so easy, let alone building an entire eCommerce strategy for it, right?
Wrong wrong wrong! In fact, doing it has never been easier! If you ask most people, there is a pretty extensive list of misconceptions about eCommerce app development:
- It’s expensive
- You need to know how to code
- It’ takes a lot of time
- You need to take courses
- You need more than a one-man army
And the list continues way beyond that. However, we have the perfect solution that will debunk all of those myths in one click!
How about letting Vajro do all the hard work?
Vajro’s main goal is to help you build a world-class eCommerce app, without all the fuss of hiring a developer or learning how to code!
By providing a drag-and-drop interface, Vajro automatically gives every online store owner the opportunity to create a mobile app in less than 60 minutes and start growing their Shopify sales!
They are no strangers to Shopify live streams, either! Increase purchases by incorporating high-quality streams directly into your app. Customers will be able to view, add to basket, and purchase your things directly from Facebook. There will be no more endless tab switching.
Vajro also allows you to send the right push notifications, to the right people, at the right time. This way, you can keep people updated on the news of your upcoming streams and ensure they never miss out on one. You can also remind them about abandoned carts, amazing sales and many other opportunities.
And in case you are still a little unsure about how you will handle all the other parts of your strategy alone, don’t worry, because with all the cool integrations, you are never actually alone! Creating the most amazing customer experience during your live stream is incredibly easy with these features. Here’s a short overview of just a few of them:
Your stream can take any place you want, from your Facebook page, Facebook Groups or directly from the app; your customers will have the same amazing experience either way!
Your buyer drops a comment during the live stream, and they automatically receive an invoice via DM. Really, we’re not joking, it’s that easy.
With an overlay that displays product images, prices, variants, and purchasing instructions, you can make it simple for your viewers to buy.
Make it easier than ever for your customers to buy from you via Facebook with product drops; all they have to do is drop a comment, and their desired product can be theirs!
You can check out the products that have been held during your live through cart hold; from there, you can see how many variants of each product were reserved!
Choose your plan today!
By clicking here, you can get started right away with your live sale journey, on your brand new eCommerce app! Take a look through all the different plans that Vajro offers:
- Power Premium
You can also check out a side-by-side comparison of the features each plan offers, in order to make a well-informed decision and get the best bang for your buck.