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Do you remember watching Home Shopping Network on late nights and being so enamored that you can’t switch channels?
Live selling shows make you want to buy impossibly sharp vegetable slicers, kitchenware sets, or exercise equipment – products that sound too good to be true.
In many ways, video has proven itself as an effective strategy for selling products online. This pandemic, online live selling has revolutionized the way Filipinos buy things.
Live selling can be dubbed as “Home Shopping Network on steroids.” In the Philippines, netizens simply go online to watch live selling sessions and comment “mine” on the items they want to buy.
Live selling has become so popular in the country that we now have the second-highest growth1 in the monetary value of goods sold through this method.
Jewelry, bags, shoes, clothes, sports equipment, food, underwear – you name it, there is a live seller specializing in that niche.
Considering some sellers make a whopping 7-digit income per month, it’s no wonder why a lot of Filipinos want to try their luck in this business idea as well. Many live sellers have even become viral such as Daisy Lopez, popularly known as “Madam Inutz.”2
Unfortunately, competition is tough in live selling. If you want to try it out, we’ve compiled some of the best techniques and strategies you can apply to stand out.
What is Live Selling?
Live selling takes advantage of video streaming technology to connect merchants to shoppers. This practice involves sellers and retailers showcasing their products to customers and patrons and highlighting how it works, and how much it costs.
Live selling retailers generate buzz around their product and create demand and trust by ensuring their engaging personality and the quality of their items come through during their broadcast. In the Philippines, the usual method used by sellers is this:
- Show a product
- Assign a code for it
- Reveal the price
For example, if someone is selling a yellow dress, the seller can say the item code is “Yellow,” and it is priced at “Php300.”
Customers, also called “miners” can then comment “yellow mine” on the live, and then message their order details to the seller after the stream has ended.
Why Live Selling Works in the Philippines?
Selling through video has been going on for decades, and it’s not showing signs of stopping anytime soon.
Around 80 percent of consumers prefer watching live videos over reading blogs, and because of this, the live streaming market has exponentially grown to 130% since 2016, amounting to $70 billion worldwide.
Although live selling channels and techniques have changed through the decades, their essence remains the same.
But why is this the case? What makes live selling so popular?
Nowadays, everyone is hooked on their phones. With the accessibility of fast internet and smartphones, people can participate in online live selling in just a few clicks.
Have nothing to do? Watching live selling can also be a form of entertainment.
A lot of sellers use their big personalities to their advantage to draw in a huge crowd.
Selling online involves many steps. You have to take a photo, upload it, write a caption for it, and wait for consumers to see it.
Live selling integrates most of these steps so it is less of a hassle for consumers and sellers alike.
Products sold through live selling allow customers to see the product used in real-time.
This genuine product presentation is a hit among customers because it answers questions they may have about the product.
Easy to reach audience
In Facebook Live alone, live streaming engagement is 6 times higher compared to pre-recorded videos.
Depending on the channel live sellers use, it is easy to build an audience and community of like-minded customers.
New channel to showcase products
Instead of setting up events, or letting your products gather dust in your physical stores, showcasing your products through live selling will allow your customers to see them in a new light.
Thanks to technology, live selling is very cost-effective for sellers. This allows them to gain more profit.
Pros & Cons of Live Selling in the Philippines
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of live selling.
No geographical limit
Selling online enables brands to increase their reach without much effort. When you switch to live selling, there will be no limit as to how many people can view your live stream.
The larger your audience will become, the more chances you will have to convert these people into paying customers.
Notifications can be enabled
One of the features of streaming services such as Facebook Live is it notifies your customers whenever you have a livestream.
When people follow your page, they will know whether there is a live coming up, or you have a new item on sale. Therefore, they can set aside time to watch your live selling stream.
It has more audience
Facebook Live, among other platforms, is putting live video at the forefront of their features. Because of this, your live content can get more exposure.
Live streaming does not only increase your reach but also the viewing time of each audience member.
You can demonstrate
Demonstrating is such an important marketing strategy. Through live selling, you can show potential customers how your items can be used, and how they can add value to their lives.
This is more useful compared to simple product descriptions with accompanying pictures. Live selling also enables your customers to ask questions about the products on the spot.
It is interactive
Streaming services are designed to foster interactivity among viewers. This is the next best thing to seeing the products live in physical stores.
More than that, buyers also have more trust in live videos because the products cannot be edited or photoshopped.
Videos can be accessed again
Live selling does not only cater to live viewers. Even customers who missed your live can watch your former videos and buy products that have not been sold.
Your live content can even be repurposed.
It fosters a sense of urgency
Compared to other forms of content, live streaming fosters fear of missing out or FOMO among audiences.
People will be more motivated to buy immediately because the item may not be there in a few seconds or minutes and they don’t want to miss out on it.
It gives you freedom
When it comes to live selling, sellers can enjoy more freedom.
You can go live for 15 minutes or 2 hours. Your strategy can be very commercial, or it can be educational. The sky’s the limit.
It allows you to save money
One of the best benefits of live selling is it is free. Home-based entrepreneurs and startups can use this strategy to gain more profit.
If you want to take the extra mile, you can just invest in a tripod, lighting, and a microphone. Of course, it is still possible to livestream even when you don’t have these things.
You may experience technical issues
In recent years, live streaming has truly come so far. However, that doesn’t mean it is perfect. You are bound to run into glitches that may sauce warped sounds, blurry videos, or lagging.
This may cause you to lose viewers.
It’s not for everyone
Live selling can only be effective for people who know how it works. You may face some obstacles as you are filming your live video such as accidentally dropping your phone, or even fumbling over your words.
When it comes to live selling, a lot of sellers get pressured because it seems there should be no room for mistakes.
It doesn’t offer privacy for buyers
When it comes to live selling, the only way buyers can communicate with the seller is through the chat function. Unless your customers message you privately, everyone else will see their comment as well.
This may be a deal breaker for customers who want to buy expensive items such as jewelry, and other sensitive items.
It can be censored
Live selling can be subject to censorship. If someone reports your video or says it violated community standards, it could immediately be stopped.
Not all sellers have the time to hold a live session
Each day, entrepreneurs are bombarded with so many things to do. If their schedules are always full, it’s hard to schedule and do a livestream.
Aside from that, it can also be hard to know the time when your target audience is online.
It can have low engagement
While live selling can truly increase your audience, it can also be notorious for low or lack of engagement.
This is common for newbies who do not know how to deliver an awesome live stream experience yet.
Best Platforms for Live Selling & Shopping in the Philippines
In many ways, live selling is truly the future of e-commerce. However, most of your live selling experience will be dictated by the platform you choose.
Here are some of the best live selling and shopping platforms you can use in the Philippines.
With thousands of success stories, Facebook Live is the most popular live streaming platform in the country.
This is no surprise considering there are 73.15 million Facebook users in the Philippines3. Because most Filipinos are active on this social media platform, it’s easy to target audiences and build a loyal customer base.
How to go live on Facebook
Going live on Facebook is very easy. You can broadcast to your profile, group, or page. To go live on Facebook using your phone, simply open your Facebook app or the Creator Studio app.
Go to the profile, group, or page where you want to go live. Then, tap the live button at the end of the post composer.
From there, you can add a description to your video and tag customers and friends. You can also check in to a location, and add an activity or feeling. Finally, click “Start Live Video” to start.
Creator Studio app
Open the app and click the pen and paper icon located in the top right corner of the Posts or Home tab. Then, select the “live” option.
Add a description, tag friends, check in to a location and add a feeling or activity. Then, you’re finally ready to start your live video.
Shopee Live is a great opportunity for sellers to add a personal touch to their products. Because Shopee is seen as a reliable shopping app, you can back ride on its credibility and be seen by customers as a trusted business.
How to setup Shopee Live
To set up Shopee live, you must first become a seller on Shopee. From your Shopee app, head over to “Me,” then go to “Live streaming,” and click “Create Stream.”
Then, insert a “cover image,” and fill up the optional “title description” and “related products.” From here, click “Next,” and “Go Live.” Now, you’re ready to start streaming.
Live Selling Tips for Budding Filipino Online Sellers
Excelling in live selling is a mix of luck, product quality, and preparation. Here are some tips to keep in mind before you do your first live selling.
1. Always promote
One of the secrets of the most successful live sellers on social media is they always promote before they do their live, or they keep a regular schedule.
Live selling should be treated like a major event and you need to generate interest among your target audience before you do it.
One of the ways you can promote is to do a teaser of some of the products you are going to sell during your live stream.
2. Prepare the scene
If you want to arrest the attention of your audience, you need to set the scene by preparing well.
Although live selling is known to be more laid back than traditional live selling on television, your audience would appreciate it if you can represent your brand well.
This means having a non-distracting background. It is also recommended to invest in a good tripod to limit shakiness. Of course, having a strong internet connection is crucial.
3. Do a test live
Live streaming technology is your friend, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice. After all, the adage is true: practice truly makes perfect.
Try to do a test drive to check your internet connection, lighting, sound, and tripod. This will also allow you to become more comfortable on camera.
4. Know your product
You can’t sell a product you know nothing about. Make sure to study the products well because you are expected to answer the questions of your audience along the way.
Do not forget to acknowledge the person who asked the question to double-check if you have answered their query.
5. Plan the flow
If you are selling multiple items, make sure to plan the flow of your live selling stream well. It would be great if you have at least a rough draft of your script, as well as different models if you plan on selling clothes.
This way, you will avoid dead air and people won’t get bored because there’s always action on the screen.
6. Give instructions
Showing your product and highlighting how it can be used is a must when it comes to live selling.
However, do not forget to remind your audience how to buy the products they like. You will have tons of people joining throughout your live selling stream at different times so always repeat how to “mine” items.
7. Pay someone to do it for you
Just because you are camera shy does not mean you can’t do live selling as a business. If you know someone who has an engaging personality, enlist that person to work for you and officiate your livestream.
Pick someone who is comfortable being in front of a camera, and has good knowledge about your products.
8. Be descriptive
Just because people can see the product on their screen doesn’t mean they can fully grasp what it is. Sometimes, all it needs is a little bit of push for them to finally comment “mine” on the item.
Make sure to be descriptive especially about things that are not obvious on-screen. For instance, if you are selling clothes, make sure to highlight that it is made with top-quality fabric, or describe the softness of the fabric, among many others.
9. Don’t forget your follow-through
The goal of your live selling is not just to sell products and get a huge income. If you want it to become sustainable, you need to nurture your relationship with your existing customers.
At the end of every live selling stream, make sure to thank those who joined and purchased from your brand.
Aside from that, ensure that all orders are processed quickly and if you experience delays or issues, let the customer know about it immediately.
10. Host giveaways
Free items always do wonders to excite people. Set aside a small item to give to a lucky buyer or viewer. You can also do a question and answer portion on your live where someone can win a special item.
This will improve your engagement and ensure that people will continue to watch your live for a longer time.
11. Ask viewers to share your content
Call to action is so important in live selling. Ask your customers to share your livestream, or to post photos of the stuff they bought from you.
Don’t forget to thank these people for taking the time to do so.
12. Treat each live as a learning experience
When it comes to live streaming, it may take a while to get it right. Even if things don’t go perfectly in your first live selling stream, don’t stress about it too much.
If you encounter any issues such as stumbling with your words, embrace your mistakes and just laugh about it. Chances are, people will appreciate the personality you injected into your live stream.
Do not get discouraged if only a few people watch your live selling stream at first. If you keep on doing high-quality live selling, more people will know about it and you can finally unlock its tremendous potential.
Looking for more online business ideas? Check out our comprehensive guide on how to make money online in the Philippines.
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