SA’s e-commerce platform Shopstar has launched live shopping app in Africa. Flick Live is a dynamic social commerce platform, in which brands and retailers can sell their products, interact with viewers and gain potential customers in real-time live streams.
This live shopping platform works by seamlessly integrating with any existing e-commerce store, such as those already run on Shopstar, or by other third parties, such as Shopify, WooCommerce and others. All inventory is automatically synced, and any new orders are created on the source platform. Sellers then host a live show on Flick Live, selling their products via highly personal and engaging shopping video experiences.
Customers can purchase product directly from the live stream without leaving the app or video, while engaging and connecting with the seller in real time, giving feedback and getting product suggestions. They can follow their favourite brands, watch them live and securely check out in the app. They can also get notified when there are big sales on, or scroll through and discover new brands.
Shopstar CEO, Chris Edington, explained that the development made sense as the next logical step for the e-commerce platform.
“We always work very closely with our customers, who are creative entrepreneurs starting and building their own enterprises. The feedback they gave us was that they were always looking for new ways to connect with their cu”stomers. Live shopping provides an exciting new way to do social commerce.
“Our research showed that the future of shopping is social – 63% of people aged 18-34 watch live stream content regularly. We needed to be able to meet them where they are, instead of waiting for them to come to us. It’s an opportunity for seamless interaction with minimum effort, but maximum impact.”
The concept for Flick Live was developed from experience and insights that the Shopstar team gained by being intrinsically involved in the ecommerce market in South Africa for the last five years.
“Micro and small ecommerce businesses in South Africa (and all over the world) are struggling to make sales and are closing their doors due to a lack of experience and resources to turn an online store into a profitable online business,” continues Edington.
“Live shopping has been a global phenomenon in Asia, Brazil, India and the Americas, and with conversion results upwards of 40% on sales, it was hard to ignore that the African continent was lagging behind the rest of the world. And yet, having the youngest population and the highest smartphone penetration worldwide (just under 90% of all traffic across the Shopstar customer base is mobile), we knew that this was technology that needed to be developed for the African market,” says Elizora Olivier, Shopstar COO.
Shopstar’s research also showed that globally, customers were wanting retailers to be more digitally innovative and adopt to more sale channels. Some 60% of shoppers reported that live stream shopping improved their experience, while brands reported that live commerce saw conversion rates that were ten times higher than conventional ecommerce.