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Will 2024 Finally Be The Year that Live Commerce Finds Its Western Audience?

Live commerce is not a new concept, and its benefits are clear. The immersive way to make purchases that first gained mainstream status in China has been trailed a fair bit in North America and Europe.

Live commerce has become increasingly popular due to its ability to enhance customer experience and engagement through interactive and personalized experiences. Despite its growing popularity in the West, the expected growth has not reached the predicted heights.

According to market forecasts, the value of live commerce is expected to grow from almost $1.5 billion in 2022 to $2.9 billion by 2028, which is not a significant change in the industry. In contrast, China has experienced remarkable success in live commerce, with one platform recording transactions worth $7.5 billion in just 30 minutes.

Therefore, it is worth considering the current state of live commerce in Western markets, as well as the efforts being made to increase its presence, and what may be required to bring online shopping to the forefront.

Stalled shopping possibly set to pick up

Alibaba’s Taobao Live essentially launched live commerce into the Chinese mainstream. It pulls in billions of dollars yearly, especially on Singles’ Day. The massive promotion in China is what’s cited as the potential of live commerce. In 2020, just half an hour into the event, Taobao Live saw $7.5 billion in transactions. In 2021, McKinsey hailed live shopping as having “enormous scope for creating potential.”

Companies, particularly the massive eCommerce and social media corporations in the US, were happy to jump on board. The likes of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Amazon all piled into live commerce. However, Western efforts seemed to wane even with China soaring to $500 billion as a live shopping market in 2022. Facebook shut down its live shopping arm in August, and even China’s TikTok opted to pause its efforts in the US and UK.

After that, live shopping has primarily resided on niche platforms. Fully-fledged live shopping events haven’t truly gained traction in the West. However, people can still be seen selling their stuff with live video on social media platforms, mostly by their own means. In April this year, independent media agency Left Off Madison revealed its current efforts to bring live shopping to a new client’s eCommerce business.

However, in 2024, the big names might be ready to push their chips back in. TikTok Shop has been toiling away to bring live shopping to the mainstream in the US. Having opened in the US in September 2023, TikTok Shop looks to have established the tools for brands and creators to sell goods via live stream. Amazon Live has also released its effort to get back in the game. Its “Shop the Show” tech allows those who watch Amazon Live FAST to access the shoppable social feed and instantly make quick purchases.

Where live commerce has expanded

Using a television show that integrates live shopping, Amazon offers insight into how companies look at different angles to get the technology into the mainstream. The key to its success will always be what makes both online shopping and live streaming so popular in the first place. It needs to be convenient, offer real-time engagement, present trustworthiness and transparency, create excitement through immediacy, and be professional in its tech—such as with high-quality cameras and audio.

These elements have helped live streaming find its most immersive home so far. At Canada’s best online casinos, live dealers and real-time gaming are the main attractions. Table games and game shows are now live. Online players enter the live stream, see the games play out in real-time, bet on them, and get their winnings if the live game lands on their picks. It’s one of the many ways that the top sites have adapted to trends and, in doing so, created a product that blurs the lines between land-based and online casinos.

While it flopped under the weight of not understanding the market, Google’s Stadia eventually launched an impressive innovation in live-streaming technology. With Crowd Play, users could queue up and jump into a game alongside the streamer they were watching. That’s been discarded now. However, what hasn’t is the effort to deliver live streaming to the Metaverse. Theoretically, it could become even more immersive and offer the stadium experience within the digital landscape. Condense Reality raised millions in pursuit of developing this tech.

Live shopping isn’t quite mainstream in the West yet. Still, significant efforts are being made, and the tech’s potential is showcased beyond eCommerce.

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