You've seen at least one live stream, whether someone was playing Minecraft or an influencer answering the most asked questions. However, do you know what live selling is?
If you are thinking of QVC or Home Shopping Network, you are on the right path.
Live selling is when brands use live streaming on multiple social media platforms to sell their products to users in real-time. Interesting, right?
With the rise of TikTok and live video platforms, using live streaming to sell to your customers is a smart, long-term strategy to encourage and maintain customer engagement.
If you want to incorporate live selling into your marketing strategy but need to know what essential tools are required to make a smooth transition into this new area, don't worry!
We’ve prepared a list of essential tools you should have before you venture into the live-selling business:
1. A High-Quality Smartphone
Of course, most companies will use their phone for their live streams. Make sure the smartphone you are using has a high-quality camera and hardware. This is one area you should try to splurge on. A low-quality smartphone can mean low-quality images of your product resulting in a poorly performing company.
Live selling means selling to your customers by showcasing your product in real time. They are more likely to purchase your product if they can see what you're selling well.
And remember, it's a tax write-off!
2. Internet Connection with Fast Upload Speed
This is an obvious component of successful live selling. However, most people don't realize they must focus on the upload speed rather than the download speed.
A slow internet connection causes many problems; buffering, glitches, low-quality audio/video, etc.
Imagine potential customers joining your live session only to see the pixelated quality. You will lose the customers' attention; they'll get distracted and leave the live stream. What's worse, they will not join your next live selling session.
Contact your internet provider and find out what your upload speed is. Hopefully, it is 100 MB or more. 15 MB is okay and relatively standard but the more, the better!
Ensure you have fast and consistent internet so your customers can join your live streams without facing the abovementioned issues.
3. Power Bank
A phone's battery life is inconsistent, especially when used for live selling.
Imagine your phone shuts down midway through your live stream. It'll give the impression you're underprepared and unprofessional, which you want to avoid at all costs, right?
Always have a couple of charged power banks on you at all times! Yes, even if you have it plugged in. What happens if your power goes out? With cellular, you can keep streaming and showing off products or at least have fun with your audience during the power outage. They love that stuff.
4. Work Laptop
Despite smartphones being all-rounders, some things are better left for the good old laptops.
To run a successful live-selling business, you need a separate work laptop to easily communicate with the customers, reply to their messages and comments, etc.
Comments and messages can be missed on the phone and buried under other notifications since many apps are logged in simultaneously.
Additionally, it’s convenient for keeping track of your inventories. It’s much easier and more convenient to have digital records than paper trails that can easily get lost in the load.
A google chrome book could work for something affordable. You mainly need to log in to websites, so something fancy is optional unless you plan to conduct a multi-stream.
5. Good Lighting
This goes without saying that you should shoot your live streams under sunlight or bright artificial lights!
Why is that so important? Your customers should be able to properly see your products, packaging, features, etc.
Even if your smartphone has a high-resolution camera, we recommend getting an external light source like a good quality ring light to make your products visible and visually appealing to the customers.
Would you like to watch a video where the camera moves and shakes so much it gives you a headache?
Nobody does. That’s why tripods are there to save the day! You may think you don’t need it but trust us; it’s a must-have if you plan to incorporate live selling into your marketing model.
With a tripod, you can also show your products properly to your customers, as you don't have to hold your phone all the time. Make sure the tripod has the ability for the phone to swivel and move into different positions.
Have you ever joined a live session on social media where you can’t hear what the person is saying? Or even if you hear them, you can’t understand them because of the horrible audio quality?
This happens quite often, and unfortunately, it turns viewers off, and they will leave the live stream without watching the whole thing. Viewers will allow poor video quality but will be gone within a second if there is terrible audio quality.
To avoid this, invest in a good external mic instead of relying on your mobile phone’s built-in audio. Trust us on this; it’ll make your audio crisp and clear for your viewers.
Some customers hesitate to shop online because they need help envisioning how the clothes or accessories would look on them.
To address that concern, we recommend having mannequins to display your clothes if you’re in the apparel business.
You can also get cute and aesthetically pleasing shelves to display your products right in front of the backdrop so the customers can have a direct view.
It may not sound like much, but it helps in boosting sales.
9. A Proper Space
You must have a good studio to shoot great live-selling streams. It could be a lovely backdrop or a green screen if you want to try different video backgrounds. This requires a dedicated space and should be on your priority list!
For example, if you sell jewelry, we’d recommend a plain white background to show your bling in its full glory without your viewers getting distracted by the backdrop.
Similarly, you can have colorful and printed backdrops if your products are, let's say, a summer clothing line. It's all up to you.
The most crucial aspect of your space is to have it clean and presentable. You might be in your living room or a shared space, but that doesn't mean your underwear and trash should be seen.
10. Live Selling Platform
Now that you’ve prepared all the necessary items, it’s time to focus on the right platform for your live-selling business.
You should decide based on a few factors; which platform do your target customers use the most? If your primary customers are gen Z, using TikTok might be a good choice. On the other hand, Instagram Live could be the way to go if you're targeting millennials! Also, consider using a niche platform like WhatsNot if you are into trading cards.
Remember, demographics and statistics are constantly changing, so where you go live can change.
If you’re new to this, don’t get overwhelmed. You don’t have to go out and buy every expensive gadget to make your live selling venture successful. Just start with these 10 tools, and you’ll find your way to success!
Keep following our blog for more tips and information on starting your own business.