Live shopping, aka livetreaming, is the latest marketing and sales channel to take advantage of today's technology trends. It recognizes that people are more interested in following other people on social media ahead of brands. Too many businesses have the insular view that they can put any old marketing material online, and people will instantly want to purchase their products. In reality, creators engage with their fans, and if they recommend products to them, it may pique their interest – far more than any direct marketing push from the brands themselves could. Some brands have now discovered that working with live shopping influencers can help widen the circle of consumers prepared to take an interest in and potentially purchase their products.
Top 11 Live Shopping Influencers to Watch:
What is Live Shopping Streaming (Livetreaming)?
Live shopping events generated an estimated $5.6 billion in US sales in 2020. Coresight Research predicts they will reach $35 billion by 2024, 3.3% of all US eCommerce.
Perhaps the easiest way to visualize live shopping is as something like the Home Shopping Network, or The Shopping Channel streamed on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer. Much of it occurs on social media, making it a clear case of social commerce.
According to Shopify, there are four critical components of a social selling strategy:
- Getting on the right social selling platforms
- Using built-in tools to target potential buyers
- Using third-party tools to expand your online presence
- Listening first, selling later
Live shopping incorporates all of these. It involves selling online in the places where people already spend their time – typically Instagram, Facebook, and other social platforms. It takes advantage of these platforms' streaming capabilities (along with a few third-party apps to enhance the experience) to reach a targeted, interested audience. And because it's live, it permits instant engagement and interaction between the presenters and their audience. And when brands work with live shopping influencers, they add an additional reason for people to participate. It no longer becomes a brand trying to sell to them, albeit innovatively; instead, it's somebody they care about. As Shopify says, "There's a real-time feedback loop for buyers, including reviews of products, demonstrations, and the opportunity to ask questions."
Where Will You Find Live Shopping Streaming?
As with most social commerce, live shopping streaming first became popular in China. In 2020, the gross merchandise value (GMV) of eCommerce live streaming in China accounted for 10.6% of total online shopping's GMV. Estimates suggest that this will grow to 24.3% by 2023.
The onset of Covid19 helped speed up the uptake of live shopping streaming elsewhere. People no longer wished to (or during lockdown could) spend as much time in-store as previously. Instead, they actively searched for ways to engage in commerce from home. As such, live shopping streaming grew in popularity in North America and Europe.
If you're interested in live shopping streaming, some of the most common channels are:
- Facebook Live
- Instagram Live
- YouTube Live
- Amazon Live
With live shopping streaming, viewers can simultaneously access:
- A video stream, where influencers (and sometimes brand representatives) present a product to the audience
- A chat, allowing users to ask questions and communicate with the presenters
- Links where people can buy the product in real-time
What to Look for in a Live Shopping Influencer
Probably the most vital requirement for a live shopping influencer is that they appeal to the types of people who would like your product. For example, if you sell female beauty products, there is little point in working with an influencer like Renaud Bauer, who is passionate about welding and making metal creations. Instead, you would be far better trying to work with Judy Travis (Itsjudytime), who operates a specialist beauty channel on YouTube.
Obviously, live shopping will only work with influencers and other presenters comfortable in front of a camera. Even some of the best-known influencers struggle when asked to give a live performance. There is a vast difference between sharing pre-created posts, even videos, and live videos where you have to think on the spot and can't edit any mistakes (except perhaps on the replay).
Also, the nature of live shopping (aka livetreaming) means that any influencer you cooperate with needs to have your product in front of them and be able to answer relevant questions. They can't merely share posts you've prepared without trying your product themselves. Therefore, for a successful live shopping influencer promotion, you should send out product samples well in advance to give your influencers time to learn about its benefits and features. Possibly an influencer might not like your product. In that case, it is probably better to end the partnership rather than attempt anything fake that is likely to be noticeable to the influencer's ardent supporters and followers.
Remember that people choose to watch and listen to influencers because they like what they have to say. In many cases, viewers will already be followers and subscribers. Livetreams are not the same as TV broadcasts, even advertorials. Influencers aren't professional actors, and you can't expect them to follow a script. They usually own their channels and control the content streamed.
However, many influencers will be happy to share the limelight with somebody representing your company, answering people's more difficult questions.
Popular Live Shopping Influencers
1. Laura Clery
Laura Clery has 15 million followers on Facebook, 3 million on Instagram, 873,000 on YouTube, and 6.7 million on TikTok. She's an actress and comedian best known for posting weekly comedy sketches on these platforms. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, daughter, and motley crew of rescue animals.
Despite making her name with her comedy videos, many of her posts seem to be about family and motherhood. In addition, she has a shop on Facebook (directing you to Boibs to make a purchase).
Clery created Boibs as a direct result of being trolled online by a follower for showing her breastfeeding her first newborn. Unfortunately, the cyber-bully misspelled "boobs" as "boibs." So Clery decided to create a brand called Boibs to celebrate the funny side of parenting.
However, she doesn't restrict herself to promoting Boibs. She also engages in influencer marketing. For example, she recently ran a Facebook Live stream promoting the mobile game Best Fiends.
Another Facebook influencer participating in a Facebook Live Shopping campaign is Judy Travis, aka Itsjudytime. She has 3 million followers on Facebook, 837,000 on Instagram, 210,000 on Twitter, and 1.26 million on YouTube (her beauty-focused channel). In addition, she has a second YouTube channel (vlogging-focused) called ItsJudysLife, with 1.82 million subscribers. Judy and partner Benji are vloggers from Seattle and have vlogged nearly every day since October 2011.
Apart from vlogs, Itsjudytime predominantly focuses on beauty. Her Amazon store sells products related to beauty, baby must-haves, kitchen, kids, and skin care.
Judy ran a Facebook Live shopping stream for Kohls on Black Friday 2021. She shopped live at Kohls, getting everything she needed for the holiday season.
3. Jamie Yeo
Jamie Yeo (@iamjamieyeo) has discovered the benefits of acting as a live shopping influencer on Instagram. Along with fellow influencer Cheryl Wee and Her World editor Ng Yi Lian, Yeo participated in an Instagram live stream. They shared tips on resetting and recharging your skin and life in the new year ahead, featuring Lancôme Advanced Génifique products.
Jamie Yeo has been a household name in Singapore since her role as Tammy in Channel 5's "Growing Up." She's famous for her illustrious career in radio and television as a presenter and actress. She's now a social media consultant and social influencer, TV/video host, emcee, VO artiste, and mother of two. She has 110,000 followers on Instagram and 33,000 on Facebook.
4. Renaud Bauer
Renaud Bauer lives in the French Alps. He loves welding and metal work in general. So, he created a YouTube channel to share his passion, making videos of his creations, small DIY projects, and presentation of equipment for metal work, along with tips on welding, metal finishing, and general DIY.
Although metal is Bauer's passion, he is not a professional welder and is entirely self-taught.
Bauer has 72,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel - Renaud Bauer – Createur. Being French, all the videos and text on his channel uses that language. In addition, he has comparatively small Facebook (4,700 followers) and Instagram (7,620 followers) pages.
Considering his love of welding and metalcraft, it is unsurprising that Bauer's live shopping was for a tools/building materials brand, Batimat. He used the stream to introduce new tools following the Batimat exhibition.
Leomie Anderson is a British model, fashion designer, and activist. She walked in four consecutive Victoria's Secret Fashion Shows from 2015 to 2018 and became a Victoria's Secret Angel in 2019. She has walked for brands including Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Chloé, Fenty Puma, Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Moschino, Oscar de la Renta, Jeremy Scott, Temperley, Vivienne Westwood, and Yeezy.
Therefore, it made sense that Tommy Hilfiger would look to Anderson when wanting to enter the world of Instagram live shopping streaming. She was part of the brand's first shopping livestream with host Manuela Frey and other special guests, including Manuela Frey, Zoë Pastelle, and Noah Luis Brown. They talked about trends and how to style everything they were currently loving.
Carla Stevenne is a beauty guru and makeup artist who shares her makeup, hair, and fashion tips and tricks on her YouTube channel BeautyByCarla, where she has 251,000 subscribers. In addition, she has 81,500 followers on Instagram.
However, one of her most successful channels is her shop on Amazon. She has taken full advantage of the capabilities of Amazon Live and now has a comprehensive library of her past streams. These videos all link to various beauty products on Amazon.
Gabby Morrison (@GabbyMorr) is a TikTok influencer with 3.7 million followers. Her videos feature music by artists like Rico Nasty, Xxxtentacion, and Tink, and she makes videos focusing on dancing, travel, and beauty. For example, she earned over 2 million views for an April 2020 TikTok video dancing to Aqua's song "Barbie Girl." Morrison also has 347,000 Instagram followers, along with 65,400 on YouTube.
Walmart partnered with 10 TikTok creators for a live shopping experience in December 2021. They repeated the activity in March 2022 with the "Spring Shop-Along: Beauty Edition" on the Walmart TikTok channel. Viewers could shop directly at Walmart without leaving TikTok. Gabby Morrison was one of the participants in March's stream. Morrison and her fellow creators revealed their favorite Walmart beauty picks and demoed their skincare, makeup, and hair routines using the items. In addition, viewers gained beauty tips and received tutorials on popular trends.
@gabbymorrWe outside tn 🖤 haven't done one of these in agesss 😭😂♬ long way 2 go remix - 𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘵𝘴𝘭𝘢𝘺𝘻 ༊*
8. Ree Drummond
Ree Drummond is another influencer to work with Walmart in their live shopping campaigns. Drummond, who many know as The Pioneer Woman, is an American blogger, author, food writer, photographer, and television personality and lives on a working ranch outside of Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Her blog, The Pioneer Woman, documents her daily life as a ranch wife and mother. She is also the host of the Food Network show, The Pioneer Woman.
Drummond's popularity follows through to Instagram, where she has 4.2 million followers.
Walmart has a range of clothing they call the Pioneer Woman Collection. Therefore, Drummond was the obvious choice to run their live shopping campaign for these products. Customers could purchase the garments they liked without leaving the livestream.
Sarah Nicole Landry (aka @ thebirdspapaya) is a digital creator with 2.2 million Instagram followers. She is particularly famous for documenting her 112lb weight loss, including sharing unedited snaps of her cellulite and stretch marks after losing half her body weight.
Canadian intimates brand, Knix, used live shopping to create buzz for its swimwear launch. Sarah Nicole Landry hosted the event, along with real Knix customers and Knix founder Joanna Griffiths. The stream blended social media strategies with the expertise of the Knix brand team, showcasing online polls, gamification features, and direct paths to purchase. Of course, it helped that Landry had known and liked the brand for years and could speak directly to its merits.
10. Nate Wyatt
TikToker Nate Wyatt partnered with celebrity stylist Mimi Cuttrell to run a live shopping stream for shoes and accessories brand Aldo. Wyatt and Cuttrell shared fashion tips and showcased their favorite Aldo products. Viewers could browse Aldo's spring 2021 collection throughout the stream without leaving it. The event saw an engagement rate of 308%.
Nate Wyatt is an aspiring musician and actor who has become well known for his video creations on TikTok. He now has 6.2 million followers on the platform. In addition, he has 559,000 subscribers on YouTube, 1.3 million Instagram followers, and 85,500 following him on Twitter.
11. Natalie Lim Suarez and Dylana Lim Suarez
For years, Natalie Lim Suarez has been a notable figure in the fashion industry. Based in New York, she is 1/2 Chinese, 1/4 Spanish, and 1/4 Mexican. She runs the blog Natalie Off Duty, where she shares her stories, inspirations, and projects through her photography and writing. She also enjoys 849,000 followers on Instagram.
Her sister, Dylana Lim Suarez, is a fashion blogger, writer, stylist, and photographer. Like her sister, she now lives in New York. She believes that fashion is what makes her wake up in the morning. She runs a self-titled blog (DylanaSuarez) and has 203,000 Instagram followers.
Both sisters regularly create posts on their blogs and Instagram accounts where they wear clothing from luxury brands like Fendi and Coach. However, in 2020 the sisters joined forces to host their first live shopping stream for Luisaviroma as part of New York Fashion Week. During the live show with Natalie and Dylana, the audience got an exclusive peek, following the sisters as they prepared for a day at New York Fashion Week, walking the iconic streets and locations of New York and talking about style and outfits, and interacting with the viewers. Throughout the stream, viewers could shop directly from Luisaviroma.