Over the past few years, livestream platforms have received an onslaught of venture capital investment in the US and Europe in hopes of replicating the staggering success of livestreaming shopping in China. This year, Chinese consumers are expected to spend $300 billion on products featured in livestreams videos, which take place on platforms like Alibaba’s Taobao Live, according to Coresight Research. But startups in the US, all angling to be the next QVC, have different strategies. Broadcast shopping tool Buywith leverages influencer talent to host events that are accessible through links the influencer in question shares on Instagram, whereas platform CommentSold lets brands host events on Facebook Live, and shoppers can make purchases by leaving comments.
BoF’s Alexandra Mondalek and Cathaleen Chen sat down with some of the biggest players in western livestreaming, including Adi Ronen, Buywith’s chief executive and co-founder, NTWRK chief executive Aaron Levant and Brandon Kruse, chief executive and founder of CommentSold, to discuss the method’s pain points, as well as lessons for brands.
“The best sessions are the sessions that you get real value through watching the live,” said Ronen. “It’s not only about entertainment, or if I admire someone, it’s also if I’m getting really good tips on how to use some makeup item or how to combine some fashion products together… that makes people purchase eventually.”
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