The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show

March 2–4, 2025 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show
March 2—4 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

Many retailers and brands are investing in livestream shopping, but what do consumers think of live digital shopping experiences? Will these events attract new customers, build brand awareness or generate sales? While livestream shopping is extremely popular in China, it’s still gaining traction in the U.S. and other markets.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba picked up on livestream shopping in 2016, and its Taobao app helped make it a popular way to sell products within just a few years. In 2023, retail consulting firm Coresight Research estimates that livestream shopping in China will generate $647 billion.

Live selling events in China have featured countless celebrities, influencers and paid online personalities, though many companies are reportedly considering using AI to keep the trend alive while reigning in costs. Douyin, TikTok’s sister app in China, is the second largest livestream player to Taobao.

Jury Still Out for U.S. Consumers

Last year, 78% of American adults said they had never participated in a livestream shopping event, according to a survey by Morning Consult. Just 14% of U.S. adults have made a purchase from a livestream shopping event, according to an August 2023 survey by Bizrate Insights conducted for Insider Intelligence.

Coresight Research estimates U.S. livestream shopping will bring in $32 billion in sales this year (compared to China’s $647 billion).

Yet, U.S. consumers are no strangers to live shopping via television channels, namely QVC and HSN. In fact, QVC and HSN parent company Qurate Retail Group expanded its investment in livestreaming earlier this year. Its “Sune” (a variation of the word ‘soon’) app is designed to target audiences younger than those typically watching QVC and HSN on TV.

In addition, several U.S.-based retailers including Walmart, American Eagle and Dick’s Sporting Goods are investing in livestream shopping events. Earlier this year, Macy’s created a dedicated space in its New York City flagship store to host live shopping segments streamed on its app.

Amazon, eBay and Poshmark are also among those committed to livestream shopping, as are YouTube and TikTok, which launched its TikTok Shop in September. However, Meta exited the livestream shopping business earlier this year (though users are still free to hold live events on their own Facebook or Instagram accounts).

Benefits of Livestream Shopping 

Insider Intelligence reported that Macy’s has found “live shoppers are the stickiest,” and the retailer is seeing “a lot of synergy between loyalty members and live shopping.” (Quoting Sara Holmgren, the retailer’s senior director of social strategy, at an AdAge conference this year.)

As for Qurate, “(Livestream shopping) is not only the next best thing to being in person, it’s actually better because you can help somebody fully understand a product, particularly in certain categories—kitchen electrics, air fryers, products that can change how you prepare meals,” Brian Beitler, founder of Sune and general manager of Qurate’s Live Shop Ventures LLC, told Women’s Wear Daily in September. “You’re probably not going to see those demonstrated in a store and it’s hard to see and understand how it works on a flat product display page. Fashion, home, novelty, beauty, technology… these categories are all super demonstrable.”

And even if consumers don’t actually buy a product during a livestream shopping event, that event can help build brand awareness and influence future purchase decisions. Thirty-one percent of people who watched a livestream shopping event in the past three months said they did so to learn more about a product, according to Coresight Research.


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March 17-19, 2024