What is Live Video Shopping? [& How to Provide it]

August 30, 2023
live video shopping

The rise of online retail and ecommerce has taken the marketplace by storm.

As it stands, the number of online shoppers is a staggering 2.64 billion - equating to a third of the global population.

In light of these figures, it's vital that businesses are equipped to support their digital customers and provide a stand-out ecommerce journey.

That's why more and more retail brands are taking digital customer service to the next level with video shopping technology.

With live video shopping, you can use video chat apps and platforms to provide the ultimate digital customer experience.

But what exactly is live video shopping? And how can it be utilized to drive success for your retail or ecommerce brand?

In this article, we’ll answer these very questions - and more. We’ll cover:

  • What is live video shopping?
  • Live video shopping vs. livestream shopping
  • The benefits of video chat for shopping
  • How to successfully provide live video shopping
ecommerce customer shopping on laptop

What is live video shopping?

Live video shopping is a strategy used by retail and ecommerce brands to provide virtual shopping services via video chat.

This allows businesses to take the in-store customer experience online, combining the convenience of ecommerce with the human touch of traditional retail.

As a result, consumers can enjoy face-to-face guidance, expert advice, and maximum personalization - from the comfort of their own homes.

Imagine a customer is browsing your website or app and has a number of questions regarding a product’s size, color, or functionality, for example.

With live video shopping, the customer no longer has to search through FAQ pages, send an email, or even type out a long-winded live chat message.

Instead, they can instantly initiate a one-to-one video chat with a knowledgeable representative.

Through video call software, agents can provide tailored guidance, show a product up close, demonstrate how it works, or even offer styling tips if appropriate.

Businesses can even utilize video shopping, alongside tools like cobrowsing, to show customers around their website or app.

With this approach, consumers essentially have a personal shopper at their fingertips - guiding them through the aisles of an online store and helping them curate a unique selection of items that suit their preferences.

Ultimately, live video shopping transforms the ecommerce journey from a purely transactional process into an engaging, interactive, and immersive digital experience.

customer using video shopping apps on smartphone

Live video shopping vs. livestream shopping

The terms video shopping and livestream shopping are sometimes used interchangeably - but there’s a clear distinction between the two.

As we explained in the previous section, live video shopping involves a one-to-one video call consultation between a consumer and a support agent or brand representative.

Livestream shopping, by contrast, is a one-to-many interaction that combines livestream marketing with online retail.

It involves the broadcasting of live video content, often hosted by influencers or celebrities, during which they showcase various products. 

These broadcasts are typically hosted via social media or specialized live shopping platforms.

With livestream shopping, multiple consumers from different locations can tune into the video and watch it simultaneously.

They can also interact with the host through real-time comments and reactions, allowing them to ask questions about the product and make purchases.

While both video shopping and livestream shopping leverage the power of video to revolutionize ecommerce, they cater to different needs and preferences.

One-to-one live video shopping provides a private, tailored experience - perfect for those who value individual attention and require a face-to-face customer conversation.

Livestream shopping, on the other hand, offers a communal atmosphere - appealing to consumers who are content with a collective shopping experience and minimal personalization.

livestream shopping videos graphic

Benefits of video chat commerce

Leveraging video chat for retail and ecommerce can benefit both your business and your customers in numerous ways.

Here, we’ll explore some of the key benefits of live video shopping.

Increased conversions

One of the best things about live video shopping is its ability to increase online sales.

In fact, statistics from Talkative users indicate that consumers who engage in a video call are up to 4x more likely to make a purchase.

On top of that, video chat for online shopping can increase the average order value by up to 30%.

The reason why video shopping gets these results is simple: it enables humanized, face-to-face communication in the virtual realm.

Through a video call, agents and representatives can build rapport and stronger customer relationships

This enables them to communicate better and gain a greater understanding of the customer’s individual needs.

Armed with this information, video sales agents can provide personalized recommendations and a bespoke shopping experience that will achieve optimal results.

consumers going through sales funnel

Reduced cart abandonment

Cart abandonment occurs when a customer adds items to their online shopping cart but doesn’t complete the purchase.

This can happen for a number of reasons, such as the customer getting distracted, not being able to find what they’re looking for, or encountering difficulties with the purchasing process.

Video chat helps to reduce cart abandonment by giving shoppers the option to access immediate assistance as they browse your site/app.

‍It’s vital that you provide this, as 57% of customers will abandon a shopping cart if they can’t get their questions answered quickly.

By being available to answer queries and assist with any issues through video shopping, you can keep customers on track to completing their purchases.

customer online shopping on mobile

Optimal customer experience

As we’ve touched upon, a key advantage of video chat is that it provides a next-level customer experience for online shoppers.

It achieves this by taking the personal touch of in-store retail service and replicating it virtually.

Thanks to video chat, a representative can remotely provide one-to-one service, specific recommendations, and in-depth guidance in real time - just like an in-store retail assistant would do.

From fashion to gadgets to home decor, your customers can use live video shopping to explore and understand products in ways that static images and text descriptions can’t convey.

It’s easy to see why consumer preferences for video chat customer service have increased by 89% since 2020.

Video chat also makes customer support more accessible, allowing consumers to obtain face-to-face assistance from any location. All they need is a device with a camera (e.g. a smartphone, laptop, or tablet) and an internet connection.

By deploying video chat, you can transform the ecommerce experience into a dynamic journey, where customers receive the expert guidance they need to make well-informed purchasing decisions.

video chat interactions customer experience

Competitive edge

In today’s cutthroat business landscape, finding innovative ways to differentiate your brand is more critical than ever.

Fail to do so, and you may even lose your share of the marketplace.

So, if your competitors are not yet offering video shopping, it’s essential that you get a step ahead of them by implementing it first.

Plus, you’ll likely acquire more customers by doing so. Case in point, 27% of European consumers will switch to a different brand if that brand offers video chat for online sales and customer service.

Conversely, if your competitors are already providing live video shopping, then there’s even more reason for you to adopt it too.

By doing so, you can ensure that your business remains a relevant and strong contender in an ever-evolving industry.

video chat interactions with businesswoman / agent

How to deliver live video shopping on your website & apps

Now that we’ve covered the benefits of video chat for retail and ecommerce, let’s explore how you can successfully offer it to your digital customers.

In this section, we’ll provide the top five tactics to help you get the most out of your video shopping strategy.

1. Choose the right live shopping platform

Once you’ve decided to implement live video shopping, the first step is to find the right video chat platform/provider.

To do this, you first need to define your requirements. Then, you can conduct market research and find the best solution for your brand.

When you’re evaluating different video shopping solutions, you'll want to consider the following factors:

  • User experience: Is the platform user-friendly, accessible, and intuitive? Is the video and audio quality to a high standard with minimal lag or delays?
  • Capabilities: Does the provider offer the additional features and capabilities you need (e.g. cobrowsing)? Are there branding and customization options (e.g. a widget editor)?
  • Integrations: Is the software compatible with your existing systems? Does it support the integrations you need (e.g. integration with your CRM or social media channels)?
  • Analytics: Does the platform allow for comprehensive analytics, reporting, and monitoring
  • Scalability: Will the provider be able to scale up or down depending on your video shopping usage and adoption rate? Can the solution expand alongside your ecommerce business to accommodate changing needs?
  • Security: Does the provider have robust data and security measures in place? Are there clear policies for handling sensitive information (e.g. credit card details) and protecting shopper privacy?
  • Cost: Is the cost of the software within your budget? Does the provider offer a pricing plan that suits your business? Is there a free trial option so you can test the platform before committing to a paid plan?

At Talkative, we pride ourselves on ticking all these boxes when it comes to providing an innovative video chat solution.

With our flexible platform, you can create a unique video shopping experience that aligns with your business needs and customer service goals.

consumer video calling representative

2. Offer on-demand and scheduled video shopping

Offering both on-demand and scheduled video shopping is key because it grants your customers maximum convenience and flexibility.

On-demand, or live video chat, allows consumers to instantly start a video call whenever they need assistance.

Imagine encountering an urgent purchasing issue or complex product query whilst browsing an online store.

With on-demand video shopping, help is just a click away.

Customers can simply use the video call button on your website to be connected to an agent in real-time - all within their browser.

This allows for quick consultations, accessible expertise, and immediate shopping assistance or website guidance.

On the other hand, scheduled video chat allows shoppers to book a video appointment in advance.

By integrating an easy-to-use scheduling system into your website (e.g. Calendly), customers can select their desired date and time for the video call.

This approach is particularly beneficial for more complex buying journeys, product demos, or situations where the customer prefers a dedicated time slot for undivided attention.

Fortunately, the Talkative platform allows for both on-demand and scheduled video calls - so you’ll have all bases covered with us.

3. Promote your video shopping services

If you want consumers to adopt your video shopping services, you need to make sure they know about them.

So, once you’ve implemented video chat as an online shopping channel, it’s important to consider how you’re going to advertise it.

Businesses can promote the launch of live video shopping in a number of ways, including:

  • Press releases
  • Email campaigns or newsletters
  • Social media announcements
  • Blog posts
  • Incentive discounts/offers that are exclusive to video chat customers

However you decide to get the word out, aim to devise a strategy that’ll reach a wide range of consumers and resonate with your target demographic.

It’s also crucial to make it clear to your website visitors that video chat is available to them - you can’t rely on them stumbling across it by accident.

A great way to achieve this is by leveraging website engagement tools. With Talkative, for example, you can configure pop-ups or proactive nudges that highlight video chat availability and encourage customers to start an interaction.

You can also embed an eye-catching widget onto your website, that’ll promote your video shopping services without disrupting the user experience.

By promoting your video chat offerings effectively, you’ll boost the adoption rate of video shopping - leading to more customer interactions and increased digital engagement.

online shopping screens graphic

4. Leverage live virtual tours

As we’ve touched upon, video chat is a great tool for replicating the in-store shopping experience via a digital communication channel.

By harnessing video chat in this way, you can transform your physical retail store into a virtual showroom.

With this strategy, a consumer is connected via video call with an in-store representative who can virtually guide them around the shop one-on-one, offering insights and recommendations.

Brand representatives can also use virtual tours to provide in-depth product demonstrations and answer questions in real-time.

Take Talkative customer Caseys Furniture as an example of this strategy in action. They utilize Talkative’s video chat to provide personalized virtual store tours and consultations.

Just remember: to successfully deliver live virtual store tours, you’ll need a video chat solution like Talkative that facilitates seamless one-to-one interactions from both your website and app.

You’ll also want to ensure that your chosen platform works on all devices too - from desktop to mobile to tablet.

5. Monitor strategy and performance

It’s important to consistently track the success of your video shopping interactions.

This will empower you to monitor agent performance, identify areas for improvement, and refine your video shopping strategy.

The best way to achieve this is by tracking the right performance metrics and video KPIs.

Many video chat platforms provide the tools necessary to track this data. With Talkative, for example, you can integrate with Google Analytics.

You can also utilize advanced features like our supervisor dashboard editor - allowing you to monitor video shopping performance in real time.

The following metrics and KPIs are key for managing live video shopping performance:

  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): This metric gauges how satisfied customers are overall with their video shopping experience. You can track this by using feedback forms to collect reviews and CSAT ratings from customers after each video chat session.
  • Conversion Rate: It’s crucial to monitor how much live video shopping impacts conversion rates. Analyzing this metric will determine if video chat contributes positively to remote sales.
  • Average Handle Time: AHT tracks the average duration of video shopping interactions. While shorter sessions might seem ideal, it’s important to strike a balance between speed and ensuring that customers’ questions and concerns are being thoroughly addressed.
  • Average Wait Time: AWT analyzes the time shoppers spend in a queue before they are connected to a video chat agent. Long wait times can lead to frustration and potential abandonment.
  • Abandonment Rate: This metric measures the percentage of customers who initiate a video shopping session and then terminate the interaction before it’s completed. A high abandonment rate could indicate issues with wait times or the overall service quality.
  • Adoption Rate: Adoption rate indicates how many website/app visitors choose to engage in video chat rather than using alternative contact channels. A rising adoption rate indicates that customers are finding value in your video shopping services.
  • Repeat Usage: Be sure to track how many users return for subsequent video chat interactions. This metric helps determine if video shopping is helping to build customer loyalty and ongoing relationships.

By analyzing these metrics regularly and making data-driven adjustments, you can optimize performance and improve the video shopping experience for your customers.

The takeaway: Getting started with live video shopping

As technology continues to redefine consumerism, video shopping will become an integral part of the ecommerce experience.

With the power of video chat, retail brands can combine the convenience of online shopping with the human touch consumers crave.

But in order to successfully provide live video shopping, you need the right platform to facilitate it.

That’s where Talkative comes in.

Our solution offers a complete suite of engagement channels that’ll empower you to connect instantly, and effortlessly, with all your digital customers.

As a primary feature of our platform, Talkative’s video chat can be seamlessly embedded into your website, app, and social media channels.

It also comes with a myriad of features to help you engage and convert more online shoppers - from next-level analytics to countless integrations, on-demand and scheduled video chat, virtual backgrounds, cobrowsing, and much more.

It means you’ll be fully equipped to wow your customers with an innovative video shopping experience they won’t find elsewhere.

Want to learn more?

Book a demo with us today and discover how you can deliver premium video chat support with Talkative.

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Smiling customer on a smartphone