Livestream Ecommerce: The future of online shopping

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Table of Contents

  1. Livestream Ecommerce: Stats Show It’s More Than Just a Trend
  2. The numbers speak for themselves:
  3. China is the birthplace of livestream ecommerce
  4. Why is livestream ecommerce is being loved by consumers?
  5. How to build a livestream ecommerce app?
  6. What are some popular third-party APIs for integrating livestreaming in your application?
  7. Conclusion

Livestream Ecommerce: Stats Show It’s More Than Just a Trend

Live commerce is going places. Forget the static product images and lengthy descriptions – livestream ecommerce is taking the online shopping world by storm. This dynamic approach uses live video to showcase products, answer questions in real-time, and create an engaging, interactive experience for customers. And it’s not just a fad – livestream ecommerce is expected to reach a whopping $55 billion in the US alone by 2026.

In a digital world, consumers crave authenticity and interaction. Livestream ecommerce bridges the gap, creating a QVC-like atmosphere where viewers can see products in action, ask questions, and get instant feedback. This personal touch resonates with shoppers, leading to conversion rates three times higher than traditional ecommerce sites.

The numbers speak for themselves:

  • Global livestream ecommerce sales reached $3.5 trillion in 2022, with China leading the charge and the US market rapidly catching up.
  • Livestream shopping events boast an average conversion rate of 9%, compared to the measly 2.5% of standard ecommerce sites.
  • 6% of US consumers regularly buy from livestream events, and 17% have made at least one purchase. This number is expected to rise as platforms like TikTok gain traction in North America.

The benefits for businesses are clear: increased engagement, higher conversions, and a more personal connection with customers. Platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok are making it easier than ever to join the live commerce wave. For online shopping websites, integrating a seamless live streaming experience is no longer an option, it’s a necessity.

China is the birthplace of livestream ecommerce

In the dynamic landscape of global e-commerce, China stands as a powerhouse, dominating the market with a staggering $1.934 trillion valuation, representing a remarkable 54.7 percent of total global e-commerce sales. A significant driving force behind China’s e-commerce prowess is its unprecedented foray into live streaming e-commerce, a trend that has not only gained traction but has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry.

China’s live streaming e-commerce market is nothing short of extraordinary, boasting a colossal value of $4.4 billion and an audience base of a staggering 450 million viewers. This figure not only underscores the sheer scale of the live streaming phenomenon but also solidifies China’s status as the unrivaled leader in this space. A unique facet contributing to this success is the seamless integration of live streams into the online shopping experience, allowing global shoppers on Chinese e-commerce platforms to indulge in a shopping spree with a simple click, all while immersed in a live stream.

At the forefront of this live commerce revolution is the e-commerce giant Alibaba, whose global outreach program through live streaming has left an indelible mark. The journey began in 2017 when Alibaba introduced its live-streaming feature in Russia, and since then, the initiative has expanded its footprint with Alibaba-owned Lazada leveraging live stream sessions in key Southeast Asian markets like the Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia.

What sets China apart is the cultural shift in consumer behavior, as the population has embraced live streams as a primary avenue for shopping. Chinese key opinion leaders and influencers play a pivotal role in this narrative, curating real-time content through live streaming sessions. This interactive medium allows e-commerce shoppers to explore new products, receive recommendations, and make informed purchase decisions, mirroring the sensory experience of traditional offline shopping.

A noteworthy example is Taobao, a major player in the Chinese e-commerce scene, which employs a staggering 4000 live stream hosts. These hosts deliver over 150,000 hours of captivating content daily, showcasing more than 600,000 products through live streams. The live streaming phenomenon has become so integral that China boasts specialized live streaming incubator factories. These facilities not only train hosts but also equip them with the necessary skills and tools, including scriptwriting and product quality control, ensuring a seamless and engaging live commerce experience.

The synergy between live streaming and e-commerce is evident in China’s emphasis on matching the personality of online influencers with the preferences of target consumers. Live streaming trainers actively support brand partners, guiding them through ideation, preparation, and the curation of compelling live stream episodes. This holistic approach, encompassing scripting, storyboarding, and strategic dissemination, contributes to China’s unparalleled superiority in live streaming e-commerce.

As the global e-commerce landscape continues to evolve, China’s live commerce revolution stands as a testament to its innovative prowess, reshaping the way consumers shop and interact with online platforms. With a potent combination of technological innovation, cultural adaptation, and strategic investment, China remains the undisputed leader in the exhilarating realm of live streaming ecommerce.

Why is livestream ecommerce is being loved by consumers?

The human connection can work wonders. Live streaming shopping has garnered immense popularity among consumers for several compelling reasons, transforming the way people shop and interact with online platforms. Here are key factors contributing to the widespread love for livestream ecommerce:

1. Authenticity and Trust Building: The live format lends itself to authenticity, as viewers witness real people showcasing products, sharing insights, and addressing queries. This authenticity builds trust among consumers, as they can see products in action and receive genuine, unfiltered information about them. This transparency is a stark contrast to pre-recorded or edited content.

2. Instantaneous Product Discovery: Livestream ecommerce serves as a platform for instant product discovery. Viewers can stumble upon new and innovative products as they watch live streams, expanding their choices beyond what they might find through traditional online browsing. The spontaneous nature of product showcases adds an element of excitement to the live commerce shopping experience.

3. Entertainment Value: Beyond just shopping, live streaming ecommerce 

often incorporates entertainment elements. Hosts may showcase products in a creative or humorous manner, making the shopping experience enjoyable. The entertainment factor adds a layer of engagement that goes beyond the transactional nature of traditional e-commerce.

4. Real-Time Q&A and Feedback: Live streams allow consumers to ask questions about products or seek clarifications on the spot. Hosts and influencers can respond in real-time, providing immediate feedback and enhancing the overall shopping experience. This direct interaction fosters a sense of community and customer satisfaction.


5. Limited-Time Offers and Exclusive Deals: Many livestream ecommerce events feature limited-time offers and exclusive deals, creating a sense of urgency for viewers to make purchases during the live session. This scarcity element encourages impulsive buying decisions and drives consumer participation in live events.

6. Convenience and Accessibility: Consumers can shop from the comfort of their homes while still enjoying a personalized and interactive experience. This combination of convenience and engagement resonates well with modern consumers.

7. Influencer Marketing Impact: Key opinion leaders and influencers often play a central role in live commerce. Consumers are drawn to their recommendations, creating a sense of aspirational shopping. The influencer’s personal touch and endorsement add credibility to products, influencing purchasing decisions.

8. Product Demonstrations and Usage Scenarios: Live streams offer the opportunity to showcase products in action. Whether it’s a beauty product being applied, a gadget being tested, or a fashion item being styled, consumers get a first-hand look at how products perform in real-life scenarios, aiding in their decision-making process.

The combination of these factors has turned live stream e-commerce into a beloved and thriving shopping format, revolutionizing the way consumers discover, engage with, and purchase products online. As technology continues to advance, and more platforms embrace this trend, the appeal of live stream e-commerce is likely to grow even further.

How to build a livestream ecommerce app?

Building a successful livestream ecommerce app requires careful planning, execution, and attention to key details. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started on live commerce:

1. Define Your Goals and Target Audience:

Clearly outline the unique selling proposition (USP) of your live stream e-commerce app.

Identify specific goals, such as enhancing user engagement, boosting sales, or establishing partnerships.

Conduct thorough market research to understand your target audience’s preferences, ensuring your live commerce app caters to their needs effectively.

2. Market Research and Competitive Analysis:

Analyze the live stream shopping ecommerce landscape to identify competitors and industry trends.

Evaluate successful features in existing apps and find areas for improvement.

Understand user expectations and experiences to create a differentiated and competitive app.

3. Monetization Strategy:

Choose a robust monetization model based on your live commerce app’s goals, such as in-app purchases, subscriptions, or ad revenue.

Explore potential partnerships with brands for promotional opportunities during live streams.

Consider offering exclusive content or early access through a premium subscription model.

4. User-Centric Design:

Develop wireframes and prototypes that prioritize user-friendly navigation and intuitive design.

Ensure a seamless and visually appealing user interface (UI) that enhances the overall user experience (UX) for live commerce apps.

Incorporate features that encourage user engagement during live streams, such as interactive chat and real-time reactions.

5. Technology Stack Selection:

Choose a platform (iOS, Android, or cross-platform) based on your target audience.

Select a reliable backend framework and database architecture to support the app’s functionality.

Opt for programming languages and libraries that align with your development team’s expertise and the app’s requirements.

6. Live Streaming Integration:

Select a robust live streaming solution, considering factors like latency, scalability, and compatibility with various devices. 

Integrate live streaming servers or leverage third-party services with a proven track record for live commerce.

Implement interactive features such as live chat, comments, and real-time polls to enhance user engagement.

7. E-commerce Functionality:

Develop a comprehensive e-commerce infrastructure, including features like product listings, shopping carts, and secure payment gateways.

Prioritize a seamless and secure checkout process to enhance the overall user experience.

Implement personalized recommendations and promotions to drive sales during live streams.

8. User Authentication and Authorization:

Implement secure user authentication mechanisms to protect user data and ensure a safe browsing experience.

Define user roles and permissions, distinguishing between hosts, viewers, and administrators.

Consider incorporating social media logins to simplify the registration process and enhance user convenience.

9. Push Notifications and Real-Time Alerts:

Enable push notifications for essential events, such as the start of a live stream, exclusive promotions, or limited-time offers. Live commerce lives on this.

Use real-time alerts to keep users informed and engaged, encouraging them to participate in live events promptly.

Customize notifications based on user preferences to enhance the personalized experience.

10. Performance Optimization:

Optimize the app for smooth performance during live streams, considering factors like video quality, buffering, and latency.

Implement caching mechanisms and content delivery networks (CDNs) to enhance loading times.

Conduct thorough performance testing across various devices and network conditions to ensure a consistent user experience.

11. Thorough Testing:

Conduct comprehensive testing, including functional, usability, security, and performance testing.

Test your live commerce app on multiple devices, browsers, and screen sizes to identify and rectify any compatibility issues.

Address and resolve bugs and issues promptly to ensure a stable and reliable application.

12. Launch, Marketing, and User Onboarding:

Plan a strategic app launch, considering factors like timing, promotional campaigns, and user acquisition strategies.

Implement a robust marketing strategy, leveraging social media, influencer collaborations, and targeted advertising.

Develop an intuitive onboarding process to guide users through key features, encouraging seamless navigation and engagement.

Building a live streaming ecommerce app requires a holistic approach that considers both technical and user-centric aspects. By following these comprehensive steps, you can create a compelling and successful platform that resonates with both hosts and viewers in the live commerce space.

Here are some popular third-party APIs for integrating live streaming in your live streaming shopping app:

General Livestreaming:

  • Mux Video: Offers reliable live streaming with features like low latency, global content delivery network (CDN), and multiple integrations.
  • Wowza: Provides scalable live streaming solutions with various encoding tools, security features, and analytics.
  • Bitmovin: Specializes in high-quality video encoding and delivery, supporting live and on-demand content.
  • Ant Media Server: An open-source platform for real-time communication (RTC) applications, including live video streaming.

Livestream E-commerce Specific:

  • Sendbird Live: Combines live video streaming with chat and in-app purchases, enabling interactive shopping experiences. Specially built for live commerce.
  • Vimeo Livestream Shopping: Integrates live video with product listings and checkout options for seamless buying directly within the stream.
  • Bambuser: Offers live video shopping solutions with features like interactive elements, product overlays, and analytics. Live commerce users love it.
  • Livescale: Provides tools for creating interactive live shopping experiences, including product demonstrations, Q&A, and gamification.

Additional Options:

  • Agora: Popular for real-time audio and video communication, offering SDKs for various platforms and use cases.
  • Twilio Video: Features high-quality video calling and chat functionalities, suitable for both basic and advanced streaming needs.
  • Daily: Focuses on video chat and collaboration, but can be used for basic live streaming functionalities as well.

Choosing the Right API:

The best live commerce API for your application will depend on your specific needs and budget. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Features: Does the API offer the specific features you need, such as low latency, recording, chat integration, or e-commerce functionalities?
  • Scalability: Can the API handle the expected volume of users and traffic for your application?
  • Pricing: Does the API fit your budget, considering both subscription fees and potential usage charges?
  • Ease of Use: Does the live stream shopping API provide clear documentation and SDKs for your chosen development platform?
  • Security and Reliability: Does the API offer robust security features and a reliable track record?

By carefully evaluating your needs and researching different options, you can choose the best third-party live commerce API to seamlessly integrate livestreaming into your application and enhance user engagement.


The future of live commerce is poised to be explosive, with experts predicting it to reach a staggering $55 billion in the US alone by 2026. This dynamic approach to online shopping, which leverages live video to showcase products, answer questions in real-time, and create an engaging, interactive experience for customers, is rapidly gaining traction around the globe. The use cases will be unimaginable. For example, imagine attending a virtual fashion show where you can try on clothes in real-time or participating in a live cooking class where you can purchase the ingredients used. The use of AI-powered chatbots to answer customer questions and provide product recommendations in real-time. The integration of livestreaming with loyalty programs and other marketing initiatives to create more engaging and rewarding customer experiences. Overall, the future of livestream ecommerce is bright. As technology continues to evolve and consumers become more comfortable with online shopping, this innovative approach is poised to revolutionize the way we shop. So, hop on the livestreaming bandwagon and watch your sales soar.

Ready to Take the Next Step?


Rahul Singh

Sr. App Developer

Rahul has been associated with the apps industry for more than 9 years now. He has seen the apps economy grow from its nascent days to a full fledged industry with its complete ecosystem as of today. His interest lies in pursuing and getting to know the best app development technologies, processes and platforms. He is truly an app enthusiast. In his free time he loves playing console games and reading history.

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