Startup of the Month: LiSA, Live & Social Commerce
Increasing eCommerce conversion rates with livestream & a community-driven approach.
For years the average eCommerce conversion rate has hovered just below 3%. According to the Harvard Business Review, fewer than 4% of consumers arriving at a website from desktop browsers end up making a purchase, and this figure is even lower for tablet and smartphone users — 3% and 1%, respectively. This is in stark contrast to in-store conversion rates, which are estimated to be between 20% to 40%.
Interestingly, eMarketer projects livestream shopping will bring in $480 billion in China this year, but the United States is expected to bring in a paltry $11 billion according to projections by Foresight Research. However, with tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, TikTok, Twitter, and Pinterest expected to try their hand at livestream shopping, considerable growth is anticipated in this sector.
Sophie Frères, LiSA CEO, and Philippe Frères, Chief Product Officer, founded LiSA in 2018 with the mission to help retailers smoothly transform into social discovery online destinations. The startup boasts its ability to help retailers achieve audience engagements up to 600% and reach conversion rates up to 35%. Fashion League spoke with the LiSA team to discover how they're helping online retailers increase eCommerce conversion rates with livestream & a community-driven approach.
Startup: LiSA (Live Shopping Assistant)
Location: Düsseldorf, Germany
Special Sauce: Live social eCommerce solutions — from API to fully-customizable and white label
Clients: Charolette Tilbury, AVON, IT Cosmetics, L'Oréal
FASHION LEAGUE: How did you get started working on livestream shopping?
LISA: Having collected 20 years of experience in the retail innovation sector between us, and witnessing first-hand how powerful and inspiring online experiences such as live shopping can be in driving organic community growth, we knew there was untapped potential. LiSA was one of the earliest live shopping solution providers in Europe, ready to support retailers even before the COVID pandemic hit, when retailers were suddenly challenged to bring truly engaging experiences to their customers online.
FASHION LEAGUE: For consumers, what are the benefits of livestream shopping?
LISA: Consumers' needs for social interaction, authentic entertainment, and curated product discovery are increasingly transferred online. 77% of people say that the most important social group they are a part of operates online — they want to buy products and services based on recommendations from people they trust. This could be family, friends, communities, or authentic influencers. Live & Social Commerce — which, by the way, is not only live shopping on social media but also any experience where social interaction meets a seamless path to purchase — addresses these increasing social needs and desires.
Still, for consumers, cross-platform experiences are pitifully choppy. For example, when consumers are watching a livestream on social media or read an article on their favorite blog and want to purchase a product, they land on a new website. With LiSA’s Live & Social Commerce solutions consumers will experience the most seamless path to purchase.
FASHION LEAGUE: For retailers, what are some of the challenges of livestream shopping?
LISA: Often retailers will start live shopping with the goal of replicating the offline shopping experience. Or, they’ll use expensive TV-like production to create a certain brand perception as they would with typical video ads. Aside from the fact that such an approach is hard to scale, it often lacks authenticity — a key driver for the success of live shopping. We need to embrace that the future of eCommerce is community-centric and that ultimately, people trust people and crave authentic entertainment. Hence, the key to successful and truly scalable live shopping is a community-driven approach. Once retailers give content creation out to trusted members of their community – be it brand experts, partner influencers, or even brands on their platform – the truly scalable magic happens. As a matter of fact, user-generated content is five times more likely to create a conversion than professional content. Therefore, at LiSA, we enable the world’s leading retailers and marketplaces to set up a controlled community-led live shopping program and help them to transform their online shops into inspiring destinations of social discovery.
FASHION LEAGUE: Does LiSA have any big projects in the works?
LISA: LiSA just launched an exciting new solution that enables seamless live shopping on any website — even if it doesn’t have its own eCommerce. This was created with the particular needs of publishers, such as online blogs and magazines, in mind. With LiSA PINK, blogs can, for example, run their own live shopping shows and make any product on any retailer's website directly shoppable in the livestream. When a user clicks on the product, they are taken to the product page, but the live show stream follows them there, so they can continue watching while shopping.
FASHION LEAGUE: What values do you think are important when launching a new business?
LISA: Having a deep and true understanding of customer needs which keeps things lean and efficient. Especially in the current economic climate, a startup must be frugal and consider how to grow in a healthy and sustainable way.
FASHION LEAGUE: Could you share some advice for our readers who may be looking to launch their big idea?
LISA: Surround yourself with people that have done this before and not with those that will tell you all the reasons it won’t work. Relentlessly design research questionnaires and tests to discover whether the problem assumption you are making REALLY holds true. Talk to those potential customers ad nauseam. Design and build the simplest of tests to get a sense of whether you’re right. Do not go all in until you have halfway decent answers from your research and tests. Find a trustworthy co-founder who shares your vision early on and yes, cut them in properly. Doing it alone is not only harder, but a lot less likely to find investment.