Are you intrigued by the concept of selling live on social media, but aren't sure what it would take to get started in your store? Here's some good news: you can make your "stage" as simple or fancy as you want - and have budget for!
Most of us have the video capabilities we need to film a live event right in our pocket - a modern smartphone will provide the image resolution needed to film, and a strong internet connection will let you broadcast your video at its best quality. Having a second employee on another device to read and answer questions from the audience is helpful. Add an inexpensive tripod that will allow you to move around while showcasing your merchandise, and you could get started!
There are a few other elements that the retailers we spoke with recommend:
If you proceed with a software such as CommentSold, you'll need a barcode scanner to enter merchandise throughout the course of each live stream event.
A large computer monitor or even a TV screen
"We started with a small laptop to read comments from," says Amy, owner of Vintage Barn Chicks in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, "but it was just too hard to read and keep up quickly, so now I bring my 20" monitor and it's a much better experience all around."
Lighting for your stage area
Natural lighting in your store might be great - or it might cast some unruly shadows. Options abound, from simple ring lights all the way to professional light kits, that can be utilized to create an appealing look on your live stream. Look for lights with adjustable color temperature and brightness settings, so you can adjust and coordinate with your stage location's natural lighting.
The other question that must be answered is where to set up your live sale area. Feel free to give your creative side a workout with this one! You can make your stage as simple or elaborate as you have space and budget for.
Cheryl Calvin, The Store in Lake Highlands in Texas
simply moves through the store during her live events, pausing at various displays. Her live events are always at noon, so she'll even incorporate customers in the store if they are willing!
Owners Amy & Amy at Vintage Barn Chicks
conduct their live sales after hours, and simply clear their cash wrap area and film themselves there. Their merchandise focuses on home décor, so it's an ideal solution to work from a raised surface area to display items on throughout the event.
Periwinkle Marketplace in Ottertail, Minnesota
who primarily sells apparel and fashion items, need a little more room to move around. The team at Periwinkle made room in their warehouse and created a small stage using faux-brick wallpaper, along with mannequins and shelving from the store, to create depth and interest in the background. They added a room divider just off-camera to allow for privacy from the warehouse staff while changing outfits during an event. Clothing racks, also off-camera, allow items to be staged in the changing area, and then set aside once done being modeled.
Much like the decisions to be made around the live selling format that would be ideal for your store, you will want to spend time evaluating the space available to you. Consider what type of merchandise will you be featuring, how much space your store physically offers or if there a warehouse corner available, and what your lighting and technology budget look like to get started.
For additional information, click here to download a Complete Guide to Live Sales from CommentSold.
Discover more details about live selling, and additional insights from store owners, in the following articles:
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Live-Sale Retailer Examples
We've gathered a few examples of retailers who do live selling today, in a handful of formats. Check them out for a first-hand perspective on what the consumer experience is like. Be warned - you just might find them addicting!
Here are links to their social channels, where you'll find information on their scheduled events: