7 Shoppable Video Platforms
More than 320 million people are expected to make at least one purchase from a livestream shopping program in China this year. In the U.S., uptake on shoppable video has been markedly slower.
Now, with a number of shoppable video platforms preparing to launch or expand their offerings in 2022, and established companies like Firework finding interest from major investors like SoftBank, that’s about to change.
The race is on to become the de facto live-streamed shopping solution for brands (and influencers) in the U.S. Global tech giants like Meta, Amazon, and YouTube are preparing to debut their own live-streamed shopping tools in the coming months, and U.S. retail brands have never had so many options to choose from.
Here are seven shoppable video platforms to watch in 2022.
The shoppable-video startup Firework raised $150 million in a Series B round led by SoftBank last month. The company’s technology enables brands to create shoppable video streams on their own websites and sell directly to consumers. In addition to live streaming content, brands can create prerecorded videos to encourage online sales. By aggregating video technology infrastructure, Firework makes it so businesses don’t need to acquire their own streaming and hosting licenses. Firework clients include Albertsons and Fresh Market.
LiSA provides turn-key solutions for brands wanting to integrate live video shopping into their e-commerce websites. The company’s live commerce program includes a range of products for different brands and retailers. For example, LiSA “Connect” enables browser-based live shopping for brands and retailers that want a quick way to trial live shopping, while LiSA “Native” provides in-app integrations and APIs to product feeds and wish lists for brands that want to embed live shopping experiences more deeply in their websites. Activity reports and integrated e-commerce analytics show how audiences responded to different live shows. LiSA works with major brands like AVON, Charlotte Tilbury, and IT Cosmetics.
Ntwrk is a live-streamed shopping platform from Commerce Media Holdings that’s been described as “MTV meets QVC.” The platform is largely inspired by successful Chinese sites like Taobao and Webo, targeting Millennials and Gen Z shoppers with pop-up shows and one-off online events. Ntwrk partners with businesses, celebrities, artists, and social media influencers to promote limited-edition merchandise drops. Products sold through Ntwrk’s live-streamed shopping videos are typically only available for a short time. Although some items are private-label goods, Ntwrk doesn’t manufacture any of its own products, and instead opts to dropship products from manufacturers directly to consumers.
Bambuser’s white-label live shopping solution can be built directly into a brand’s website, with the ability for customers to watch live or prerecorded video on a fully branded video player and add items to their carts in-stream. Content can be broadcasted simultaneously across social channels. Pre-built landing page templates make it easier to add multiple videos to a websites at once and organize videos by category. Brands control the customer and transactional data. With Bambuser, brands also have access to editing software for recording, downloading, and repurposing live video shopping footage. Bambuser clients include LVMH, Samsung, and Clarins.
Thanks to its massive user base, YouTube has a clear advantage in the live shopping space. The company began piloting a new feature last year that allowed viewers to shop for products from livestream videos. It also tested a one-day live-streamed shopping event focused on small businesses. More recently, YouTube teased upcoming features that would make it easier for consumers to buy from brands through live shopping streams hosted by online creators. Users would be able to purchase products shown in videos by tapping on a “view products” button built into the video. That feature, along with many other live-streamed shopping tools for brands, is expected to roll out later this year.
TalkShopLive is a live-streaming online network with a heavy focus on celebrities and their fans. Customers can “experience” brands through live, shoppable videos. The e-commerce platform gives businesses a way to stream or record live shows about their products, and then embed shoppale videos on their own websites and social media accounts. TalkShopLive contains the checkout process within its platform, so potential buyers never have to leave a video to make a purchase. Products and orders can be synced between the brand’s TalkShopLive Channel and e-commerce platforms like Shopify.
For smaller businesses and individual creators, Whatnot is a community marketplace for hosting live-selling streams and meeting like minded collectors. Whatnot’s live shows are highly interactive, offering sellers the chance to engage with audiences and get feedback in real-time. Sellers have the option to setup live auctions or make products available to viewers for a set price. Whatnot assists sellers by collecting revenue on their behalf and making shipping labels available through a cloud-based dashboard. Whatnot charges an 8% commission plus payment processing fees for each transaction.
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.