What Is Live Stream Shopping?
Remember those TV shows where some hosts would describe various items being sold and you could phone in and purchase them? Well - if we call that TV shopping, then live stream shopping that kind of "show" happening online, on dedicated platforms or on social media.
China has been a pioneer of live shopping, ever since 2016. In the western world, live stream shopping has been trending since 2019, when brands that sold on Amazon started using their tool called Amazon Live. Nowadays, along with social media like Facebook Live, there are multiple dedicated platforms for live stream shopping, including Livescale, Bambuser or Hello Lisa.
In this day and age, where live streaming is almost everywhere, it's only natural that retail and online brands go a step further. As a consumer, it's much better to see the product you're interested in buying in real time, live, on a real person who wears it or put into action. As a vendor, live stream shopping should definitely convert better than some low resolution product images.
And the trend is here to stay and further grow, as social distancing and remote work get more popular. According to Coresight Research, the US e-commerce livestreaming market alone could be worth up to $11 billion, up from $6 billion in 2020.
If you're selling your products online, you should definitely consider at least trying live stream shopping. This article will share how to approach a crucial element for any live streaming activity: your Internet connectivity.
What Makes a Good Livestream Shopping Host?
As a merchant, you're probably expecting an answer like "a known celebrity" or "somebody who has a good sense for what they should be selling based on the interactions with their followers". Which is, by all means, advisable, given the way live stream shopping works. Think about it - other than the product itself, the host is another important factor to sway the purchasing decision.
But there's another thing I wanted to talk about: fast and reliable Internet, which makes or breaks a successful live shopping session. If the Internet connection in the location where you showcase your products is slow and unreliable, this will translate in:
- stuttering video,
- buffering and
- dropped connections, ultimately.
And this, unfortunately, minimizes the chances for a purchase, whether you're using a fully integrated live shopping solution like Livescale, where your customers can shop within the live streaming window, or one of the others, where the shopping cart lives in another browser tab or window.
How to Get Fast and Stable Internet for Your Live Stream Shopping Session
There are two rules of thumb here:
- get the best Internet available for the live streaming location. Best = fastest, highest bandwidth for upload especially (!)
- use at least two Internet service providers at the same time. If one has issues or fails, you should failover to the other one(s).
If you plan to do this frequently, you should definitely make sure your Internet connection can keep up with high resolutions (at least 1080p) at 30 fps. A solid 6 Mbps upload rate should be enough for this.
Remember to get at least two Internet connections, just to have a failover in case one breaks during a live shopping session. The problem with switching from one to another is that potential customers will see anywhere from a few to 30-40 seconds of still image until the stream resumes on the other connection.
The solution to this is to combine the two connections. You can do this using link aggregation / bonding technology.
Which Channel Bonding Solution Is Best for You?
To use multiple Internet connections at once, you can get dedicated bonding hardware, such as the devices from Peplink, LiveU or Mushroom Networks. These support plugging in multiple internet connections. Here’s what you need extra along with the hardware:
- pay to rent the equipment - that should set you back some thousands of dollars.
- get specialized engineers to manage and run that hardware. Some companies that offer channel bonding services on rent generally send their own people and hardware for your live stream. Add some cost here too.
If you think that's too complicated, there's always the alternative of using software channel bonding, right on each device that broadcasts live video on the Internet. You get an app you can install on a computer or a mobile device. That will enable the device to combine all available connections:
- Wi-Fi and cellular data on mobile devices
- Wired Ethernet, Wi-Fi, cellular and other types of connections on computers. As long as you have a network adapter for each connection, you're good.
Software channel bonding services that are easier and cheaper to run. They are more efficient and don’t require a special setup. Speedify is one such channel bonding / link aggregation software option.
Speedify Makes Live Shopping Events Successful
Live stream shopping done right? Get fast and reliable Internet with Speedify. And, of course, if the viewers find themselves with slow, unreliable Internet, they can get it as well. And it's very simple to do it - there's no need to rent dedicated bonding equipment, sign contracts, etc.
Speedify provides channel bonding services at no extra costs – there is no hardware setup and you don’t need extra engineers for all the work. Moreover, it will automatically identify audio and video streams, and provide quality of service (QoS) by prioritizing streams over other traffic. Web browsing and software updates can’t mess up your calls and live streams.
As a fast bonding VPN, Speedify acts like a power-up for your device. Instead of only using a single Internet connection at a time, Speedify allows your device to use multiple connections simultaneously. You’ll get more bandwidth and more stable livestreams.
When paired with a dedicated speed server, it delivers the highest performance and additional features that should help you run your live shopping event without any issues.
Get rid of all the connectivity hassles that come with running a successful live stream shopping event. Use Speedify!