You know it’s that time when All I want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey enters the top 200 charts on Spotify two months before the actual holiday. Seeing this, I searched the web about social media’s play during the holiday season (Thanksgiving until New Year’s) and saw some interesting news. A new trend has appeared. Online livestream shopping. This industry alone is expected to bring China’s ecommerce market an estimated $423 billion by 2022. Many companies saw this as an opportunity to bring in this movement to America, and now multiple social media platforms are starting to announce live streams for the upcoming holiday season.
The first platform to start this trend was TikTok. Possibly due to its ties in China, this forerunner announced last year that it would partner with Walmart, the top retailer in the U.S., in which the latter would showcase products via livestream on the platform where users can buy said items.
Next, is YouTube. Announced last month, the platform announced its plans for livestream shopping that would start around the start of the holiday season. This seems like a unique opportunity for companies to partner with YouTube influencers since 89% of viewers agree that YouTube creators give recommendations to products they can trust. YouTube is even upgrading its video action campaigns so that it will incorporate connected TV along with YouTube TV in order to help advertisers adapt to the former’s exponential growth.
The next platform to announced its livestream shopping experience is Pinterest. Announced a couple days ago, Pinterest has introduced Pinterest TV, that will incorporate a combination of livestream and original episodes of shoppable items hosted by creators of the platform. Pinterest TV is set to premiere November 8th.
Finally, Instagram. While the platform has done livestream shopping before, it announced just recently a set of features for shoppers on its platform for the holiday season. Starting November 5th, the platform will release shopping based broadcasts throughout the holidays. In order to maximize sales, Instagram is giving users 20% off their first purchase via the app and free shipping.
So which one is the most enticing for a retailer? With its audience and its video action campaign upgrade, YouTube seems like the best option. But what do you think?
Social media advertising by companies last year was over $40 billion in the U.S. alone. This year, it’s expected to be slightly below $50 billion. The U.S. market is expected to bring in $226 billion from online shopping this holiday season, which is an 11-15% growth from last year. After seeing these gaudy numbers, I wonder how much of that $50 billion is spent specifically during these last two months of the year. Especially now with these social media platforms announcing livestream events for shoppers. What’s even more interesting is how the holiday season will react to major supply chain issues happening across the world. How will this affect not only the holiday season, but for the future? This seems like disaster is coming soon and this holiday season is not helping.