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Live shopping: the latest trend in connecting with customers online

The world of e-commerce is ever-changing and there are always new ideas popping up on how to reach your customers online and make more sales – and one in particular is currently gaining traction: live shopping.  

Live shopping isn’t exactly a new idea, but thanks to the power of modern technology and social media, it’s no longer reserved for the TV shopping channels you might’ve used to make late-night impulse purchases.

What makes live shopping an attractive way to sell online?

  • There’s nothing like human interaction: customers receive the same conversation and service they appreciate when visiting your shop

  • Customer needs can be addressed in real time: easily answer questions about a product and change your suggestions based on their needs

  • Products get the full 360° treatment: show off your products from every angle, show how they fit or give a live demonstration

  • There’s no need for extra equipment or software: if you have a smart device and a social media account, you’re ready to go. If you want to give a more professional feel, you can always invest in some lighting or camera equipment.

How to get started with live shopping

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling clothes or furniture – if it can be delivered, you can sell it during your live shopping session. 

And when it comes to getting paid, you can use a service like SumUp Payment Links to accept easy online payments, but we’ll go into more detail on that later.

First, let’s look at a couple of ways to approach live shopping.

Find out what your customer really wants with a personalised consultation

Go the extra mile for your customers by offering private online consultations. This is a great way to create a real connection with your customers and impress them with your personal touch. 

Tips for your online consultations

  • Find out as much about what your customer is looking for as you can – then you can tailor the consultation to them and make sure you’re recommending the right products 

  • Show your customer around the shop, talk them through the different areas and see if they’d like to take a closer look – you never know what might spark their interest

  • Give your customer as much information about a product as possible – they’re less likely to return an item if any doubts or questions have already been answered

Reach a bigger audience with livestreams on social media

If you want to reach more people in one sitting, promote a specific product or announce a special offer, go live on your business’s Facebook or Instagram channel. 

Your followers will get a notification that you’ve started a stream and can tune in immediately. If anything takes their fancy, they can contact you directly through the platform you’re using. 

How to make your livestreams a success

  • Post announcements and reminders on your social media profiles in the run-up to your livestream – that way you’ll get as many viewers as possible

  • Decide which products you want to show to your viewers beforehand and have them ready so that you don’t waste any valuable time hunting them down

  • If you’re selling clothes, ask a friend or employee to model them for the livestream – people love to see how things look on and how they fit before buying them

  • After you’ve finished your livestream, post it to your feed – then customers who weren’t able to watch it live can still see what you have to offer

If you’re also offering personalised consultations, make sure to mention this during your livestream. Viewers might be interested in seeing what else you have on offer.

Live shopping with SumUp Payment Links

Some of our merchants are already selling their products through live shopping and getting paid by link.

We caught up with Rita Pinto, who handcrafts and sells accessories at Pilàr, her atelier in Naples, Italy. While the atelier is temporarily closed to the public, she continues to produce accessories that she sells via live shopping, using SumUp Payment Links to get paid.

“My customers can still buy my products through live shopping and pay online thanks to SumUp. All I have to do is video call my customer on WhatsApp so they can see what they’d like to purchase – if they see something, I can send them a SumUp Payment Link and they can pay securely by entering their card details and completing the payment.”

SumUp Payment Links are links that let you accept online payments without the need for an online store – you don’t even have to own a SumUp card reader to send payment links. 

To get started, open the SumUp app and enter the amount you’d like to charge, select Payment Links as the payment method and then share the link with your customer via a messaging platform like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, SMS or email. 

Once your customer taps on the link, they’re taken to a secure website where they can enter their card details and complete the payment. They don’t need to download an app or sign up for anything – it’s quick and simple for you and your customer. 

If you want to further increase your online presence, consider creating an online store. It doesn’t have to consume tons of time or money. With SumUp Online Store Starter, you can get up and running in a matter of minutes – and it’s totally free to set up.

Callum Conway