The Fusion of Social Media and Shopping: How Live Streaming is Shaping Consumer Behavior

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Kuncishock News – Zainab Hakim, a 23-year-old receptionist from Birmingham, embodies a new shopping trend that has taken root through the fusion of social media and retail.

While she finds the act of physically going to stores tiresome, she confesses to being entrapped by her shopping impulses.

Rather than hitting the high street, she immerses herself in livestream sessions on TikTok, the burgeoning social media platform.

These live broadcasts feature sellers showcasing their products in real-time, a phenomenon that Hakim is particularly drawn to.

With a mere couple of clicks, she can complete purchases directly via the app, leading her to acknowledge, “I probably have an addiction at this point. I just get sucked in.”

TikTok Live has become a dynamic marketplace where a diverse array of goods, ranging from clothing to fitness equipment to confections, are sold with live interaction between sellers and potential buyers.

This innovative approach to shopping is not a novel concept, as China embraced it as early as 2016, while the well-established QVC shopping channel has been employing a similar technique on television for nearly four decades.

However, fervent supporters of the model assert that this convergence of entertainment and commerce is poised to revolutionize the retail landscape.

Even notable figures like model Katie Price have joined the fray, engaging with their followers on TikTok while showcasing various products.

The phenomenon extends beyond TikTok, with Amazon and Facebook introducing their live shopping features, and Marks & Spencer adopting shoppable livestreams on its website.

The efficacy of this trend is evident in the data: a study conducted by the Influencer Marketing Factory ad agency found that 25% of Britons have made purchases during a livestream event.

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While clothing and beauty products were popular choices, electronics, furniture, and home decor also garnered substantial interest.

Alessandro Bogliari, CEO of the Influencer Marketing Factory, attributes this trend to the modern preference for experiential consumption.

“Because everything is entertainment nowadays, users want to see a product in real time from a content creator,” he notes.

The survey results indicate that the majority of British individuals participating in livestream shopping fall between the ages of 19 and 35, reflecting a generational shift in shopping behaviors.

This is evidenced by Hakim’s observation that a significant portion of her peers have made purchases through TikTok.

These younger consumers wield significant purchasing power, potentially reshaping the fortunes of sellers. Lee Tregear, owner of sweets and souvenir shops in Stevenage, attests to this transformation.

After initiating a TikTok account for his business, Tregear garnered a substantial audience while promoting products like pickles. The vegetable even briefly became a TikTok trend.

Tregear now dedicates several hours daily to livestreaming, showcasing sweets, engaging in giveaways, and fulfilling orders.

His efforts have not gone in vain; a recent livestream session garnered 5,000 viewers and 140 orders.

The livestreaming shopping phenomenon extends beyond transactions; it fosters a sense of community.

Regular customers connect with each other in the comment sections, forming virtual friendships.

This camaraderie is exemplified by viewers updating each other on life events and job shifts, akin to interactions among friends and family members.

Amidst this landscape, Nikia and Mike Marshall stand out as successful livestream sellers.

With over 200,000 followers on their TikTok account, they offer fashion and cosmetics. Nikia serves as a model, showcasing outfits to potential buyers while interacting with them in real-time.

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The interactivity has taken the form of requests for detailed demonstrations and personalized fit assessments.

The fusion of shopping and social media through livestreaming offers a fresh, interactive, and immersive way for consumers to engage with products.

As digital platforms continue to evolve, the influence of these shopping interactions is set to grow, reshaping the retail landscape and transforming the traditional consumer experience.

 

 

 

Source : theguardian.com

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