If live streaming is now a key part of your boutique’s online marketing strategy, you certainly aren’t alone. Many independent retailers are now harnessing the popularity of online video to sell more products and connect with shoppers like never before. But despite the many advantages of live streaming, there are issues for small retailers that make the sales process time-consuming and inefficient.
That is, until now. Enter ELISA, an ‘Easy Live Sales system’ – also known as a ‘comment selling robot – that simplifies the entire process for retailers. Since launching in Denmark in 2020, the company has grown exponentially with 600+ users in six countries across Europe – and it’s now available in the UK.
The rise of live shopping
When the pandemic first started, non-essential retailers were forced to embrace e-commerce and social media to survive. Fashion indies in the UK took on the new challenge with aplomb, posting fresh content on their Instagram feeds and taking to Facebook to connect with shoppers.
Live streaming became the new way to chat to customers as an extension of their physical shop. For shoppers looking for a personal and emotional connection, these types of videos brought much-needed authenticity to e-commerce. And many retailers were not only able to retain sales in this way during the lockdowns, but actually experienced growth.
Fast-forward to 2022 and live stream shopping is now an integral part of social marketing for many indies. It’s a way for shoppers to connect with their favourite independents from the comfort of their phones. Customers can comment during live events and the person hosting the event can react instantaneously, creating a personalised experienced akin to interactions in a physical store.
Data suggests that the popularity of live stream shopping is spreading throughout the world. In China, 66 per cent of consumers have bought a product during a live shopping event. Over in the US it’s also booming, with estimates suggesting it will be worth $25 billion by 2023. Meanwhile, it’s rapidly gaining momentum in Europe too with thousands of successful cases.
While many indies are now creating engaging live content showing off their latest products, there is one big issue with real-time streams: no automated sales. This means that retailers are faced with unnecessary work reading and answering comments, trying to decipher which customers were first and then processing orders. Some are also losing sales because the customer journey from social media to their own website, DMs or phone is too fragmented.
With the popularity of live streaming seeing no signs of waning, there’s never been a better time for a viable and cost-effective solution. ELISA can make the live sales process easier for retailers and more seamless for customers, whether streaming on Facebook or via shoppable video on Instagram.
- 600+ retailers already use ELISA in six different countries
- ELISA keeps track of viewer comments and automatically adds orders to customers’ baskets while watching inventory levels so you don’t over sell
- Retailers can benefit from 10 – 50 per cent higher sales figures compared to their previous campaigns
Set-up for ELISA is simple: retailers click a button to connect their social media channel to their ELISA account before setting up the products and offers they want to promote. Throughout the live stream ELISA keeps track of viewer comments and automatically adds orders to customers’ baskets while watching inventory levels so you don’t over sell. Customers can choose their delivery method and pay online while they’re still watching or after the live stream has finished. This means there’s less work for the retailer and a more cohesive buying journey for consumers.
As with all the best innovations, ELISA started out as a lightbulb moment after Danish founders Nikolai and Rasmus Aas Pedersen had a crisis meeting with their family about how to pivot their cafe online during the first lockdown. After using Facebook posts and comments to generate orders, they realised it was a time-consuming and ineffective way to keep up with demand. That’s when the initial idea for ELISA was born.
There are already hundreds of retailers using ELISA all over Europe – and they are reaping the rewards. The company says businesses typically see 10 – 50 per cent higher viewer numbers compared to previous campaigns. And for some, it can soar by as much as 500 per cent, which is helping boost revenue growth.
“Live shopping gives retailers a new chance to stand out in a personal way,” says CEO Christian Degn Vester. “Here, they don’t have to fight against the big e-commerce players that focus primarily on price. As a retailer, you must focus on putting a face behind your brand so that your customers can recognise you and create a personal connection, and this is a crucial factor in keeping them as your customers in the future. If you as a retailer embrace live shopping and are involved from the start, you have a good chance of becoming and remaining successful with live shopping in the future.”
TIPS FOR LIVE SUCCESS
1. INTERACT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
Encourage viewers to ask questions and write in the comments section – the more comments your post receives the more successful it will be. ELISA automatically deals
with sales but cannot answer specific questions about the product. So, keep an eye on ELISA’s handy dashboard where you’ll see all the unanswered questions highlighted.
2. ENLIST A MODERATOR
It’s a good idea to have an extra person on standby to answer specific questions during a live stream. While ELISA will deal with sales automatically, questions about the product will still need to be answered directly.
3. ADD A COMPETITION
A great way of retaining customers throughout a live event is by piquing their curiosity. You could announce a competition at the beginning of the live where the winner will be drawn later in the broadcast.
4. FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE
Another way to retain shoppers is by tempting them with time- sensitive benefits. This could be a specific discount that only applies during the live event or anything else that encourages customers to act quickly.
5. REWARD ENGAGEMENT
Let customers know it pays off to share or like your post with incentives such as a discount code, which will be revealed at the end of the live stream.