Live shopping apps flourish

Although online shopping is convenient and caters to young consumers’ digital lives, it typically lacks the social and entertaining elements they seek when shopping in-store. An influx of new apps help alleviate the downsides of ecommerce by offering live shopping shows—think a modern QVC or Home Shopping Network. Young consumers are tuning into these programs at specified times for a more exciting and communal online shopping experience.


Chinese consumers can buy products from the U.S. in a social manner via the ShopShops app. The company hosts live streams from brick-and-mortar stores, particularly boutiques in NYC, LA, and Miami, during which employees hold up products, answer questions, and even try on items for viewers. Aside from tapping into the popularity of live streaming in China, ShopShops appeals to consumers by making them feel more connected to others, from those broadcasting the episode to fellow shoppers whose questions appear on-screen. Stores that partner with ShopShops tend to make about $6,000 in sales per episode, and ShopShops takes a commission of 15-25% on each sale.


The Streamlist app brings live shopping to the peer-to-peer marketplace. Sellers list their items and can start a live stream, during which viewers can ask questions and see inquiries from fellow shoppers. Video allows sellers to make their listings more dynamic and brings a more human experience to ecommerce. This model can also help consumers feel more confident in their purchase decisions as they can see items from many perspectives, ask questions, and see the reactions of other shoppers. Sellers can set notifications for when they’ll conduct a livestream, making online shopping a can’t-miss event.


Just as youth have been willing to tune in to live gaming shows like HQ Trivia at scheduled times, they’re doing the same with live shopping shows. Gravy is among such programs, with a unique twist, as it brings gamification to ecommerce. During each episode, which airs daily at 8:30pm EST, multiples of one product is sold. Items start at full price, but the cost drops throughout the course of the show, incentivizing shoppers to hold out. However, they want to ensure they get it before it's gone because there's only a limited number of each item for sale and viewers don't know how many are left. Gravy has previously sold products such as AirPods, Adidas sneakers, Oculus Go headsets, and electric skateboards.