When you think about livestreaming, what comes to mind?

While many of us might picture a celebrity broadcasting their skincare routine or a gamer screensharing a match on Fortnite, the livestreaming format has evolved in recent years to encompass a broad spectrum of live experiences – from music performances, book readings, red carpet events to your weekly community hang-out.

In fact, with an oversaturated retail landscape and today’s Gen Zs and millennials increasingly turning to user-generated environments to inform purchase decisions, forward-thinking brands are looking to livestreams not just to engage hard-to-reach audiences, but to drive sales. With livestream shopping growing in popularity across the globe and companies reporting a conversion rate up to ten times higher than conventional e-commerce, livestream shopping is becoming the new frontier for e-commerce with huge opportunities for brands.

But what is livestream shopping, and how can brands leverage Twitch to reach new potential shoppers? Here are three takeaways to take you into the new year.

Livestreaming offers a new approach in the changing landscape of retail

Shopping via livestream is a new way for brands to tailor the browsing experience, making it more personalised and entertaining. While online shopping can often feel quite removed from the real world experience, livestream shopping acts as a proxy for touching and feeling an item in store. Shoppers have the opportunity to ask questions through live chat and receive an authentic and personalised response from the host, which is akin to how you might shop with a friend – naturally carrying more weight when making a purchasing decision.

Before you dive into livestream shopping, consider how your brand will speak to a primarily Gen Z and millennial audience. With a one-of-a-kind interactive community experience, tuned-in brands are able to reach potential shoppers in a more entertaining way, blending games, comedy, music and more with e-commerce.

Digital natives crave interactive and authentic experiences

With the retail landscape becoming increasingly competitive, livestream shopping is also an avenue for brands to interact with sought-after digital natives that typically reject traditional media and advertising, but see Twitch as a place to come together with their favourite creators and engage in shared interests.

But what makes livestream shopping uniquely suited to digital natives? Simply put, today’s younger audiences grew up on video games, social media and user-generated content, meaning they value active participation and prefer to be involved in the content they are consuming. Unsurprisingly, Gen Zs and millennials are also consuming less traditional media. With nearly 75% of Twitch’s viewers between 16 and 34, we’ve found 54% in APAC watch no more than 1 hour of traditional TV a day and if they do, they are usually also on a second device.

What this means is that for brands to genuinely win over younger shoppers, they have to throw away their old playbooks, and experiment with new formats in the online environments these communities are dwelling in. A way to do this is by collaborating with Twitch streamers as part of your marketing strategy – these creators have highly engaged audiences and 76% of our community appreciate brands that have helped their favourite streamers achieve success. Plus, our community tends to buy brands they have seen advertised on Twitch.

Livestream shopping blends live entertainment with commerce

At Twitch, we know the best conversions — whether you’re looking at sales, traffic or engagement — are a byproduct of great content and connection to the right community. By taking a community-first approach, brands have unlimited opportunities to involve well-loved streamers and their audiences to bring a dynamic livestream shopping experience to life.

One example of how we are doing this at Twitch is through the global launch of our interactive, live-shopping brand, Pog Picks. A variety show, game show and live shopping experience rolled into one, Pog Picks brings together top creators with content spanning gaming, music, food and comedy. This is a fun-filled form of shoppertainment where the hosts can interact with audiences through games, polls and competitions. We also introduced a new feature called ‘Stream Picks’ in August this year, an interactive overlay which allows viewers to click through to a product page from the stream, creating a seamless shopping experience.

Earlier this year, we held Pog Picks Prime Time, hosted by the popular /HexSteph and /NichBoy. Designed by our Branded Partnership Studio from end-to-end, we worked with sponsored brands like Samsung to launch their new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 and Z Fold4 phones in a bespoke game-show, leveraging both streamers’ communities to introduce the products in fun and wacky ways. This followed the very successful Pog Picks Down Under event which debuted ahead of Christmas 2021 and racked up 6,310 hours watched, 79K views and 61K unique viewers.

Looking ahead

Ultimately, if there’s one thing I’ve learned at Twitch, it’s that people crave human interaction and value authenticity and community above all else. In a changing retail landscape, livestream shopping provides a fresh way for brands to tap into these intrinsic desires, blending entertainment, creator content and active participation to engage with potential shoppers.

Gemma Battenbough is head of brand partnership studio for Asia Pacific at Twitch.