The way we shop has fundamentally changed. As far back as 2010 shopping habits began to shift, kicking off what many called the retail apocalypse. The pandemic helped to accelerate this shift. With in-person activities severely curtailed during the peak of the pandemic, more people than ever before turned to online platforms, helping to drive e-commerce sales to an unprecedented $794.50 billion in 2020.  

Experts predict many of the shopping changes we’ve seen are here to stay.  A recent report released by Salesforce found that 44% of US survey respondents are not only doing more shopping online than they were pre-pandemic but that they expect to continue to do so even after the threat from COVID-19 recedes.

While how we shop has changed, what hasn’t changed is our desire for in-person connections. For this reason, livestreaming is quickly becoming a popular and dynamic way for consumers and brands to connect. Livestreaming is the streaming of media simultaneously recorded and broadcast in real-time via the internet. Already popular pre-pandemic with events, concerts and shows, livestreaming really took off in 2020. 

The appeal of livestreaming as a way to reach consumers is easy to see. Most often done over social media platforms, it makes it possible for a brand to quickly reach a global audience. According to a recent poll conducted by Hubspot, consumers are already using social media platforms to make purchases, with more than 50% of consumers confirming they had purchased a product on at least one platform. 

The expansion to include e-commerce livestreaming on social platforms is already gaining steam. Live Shopping via Instagram and Facebook Shops were both introduced in 2020. Walmart, Google’s Shoploop and Shopify also give consumers the ability to purchase items featured on livestreams. And, which debuted in 2018 and currently has over 2 million followers, partnered with influencers and celebrities like Giada De Laurentiis, Paul McCartney, Dolly Parton and brands like Best Buy and Fred Segal to pitch books, music, and cosmetic lines, to name a few. 

Even as life post-pandemic slowly returns to normal, e-commerce via social media is expected to thrive. As consumers seek out fast and convenient ways to shop, the personalized experience consumers crave will always be a crucial part of shopping satisfaction.

Having a comprehensive brand protection strategy that addresses the unique nature of social media will help ensure that your customers, fans, and community continue to enjoy authentic experiences with your brand online. For more information on how to plan an effective social media enforcement program, we’ve published an informative guide that you can download here.

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