How Can I Sell Directly From a Live Stream? Facebook Live Shopping Makes It Easy. Build brand awareness and increase sales via the popular social media channel.

By Stephanie Garcia

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Saying you have options to sell stuff online today is an understatement.

Want to sell your new bamboo charcoal deodorant? Go to Amazon, Etsy, or build a Shopify site and run some ads. Have a LeBron James rookie card to offload? Sell it to the highest bidder on eBay or Facebook Marketplace. Those are just a few of the popular ways to get eyes on your products and wake up to 30 Stripe or PayPal payment emails.

Selling online is as easy as it's ever been. Based on what we've seen during the pandemic and even during the 2020 holiday season, selling and buying online is at an all-time high. On Black Friday alone, online shopping surged 22% to a record $9 billion, according to Adobe Analytics.

The Adobe report also shared how social media drove one out of 10 visits to retail websites over the Thanksgiving weekend — a 17% year over year increase. Many social media platforms are finding innovative ways to help large brands and small businesses sell more products — and making it easier for consumers to buy.

This is why, as a business owner, now is the time to start promoting your products and services online. If you're not sure where to start or don't have the marketing budget for large paid advertising campaigns, there is one brand new, affordable and effective option in Facebook Live.

Facebook Live has been around since 2016. And while many brands have used it to promote products before, there hasn't been an easy way to drive traffic to external sites or have a customer buy on the spot, until now.

With Facebook Live shopping, you can easily go live from your desktop or mobile device and start showcasing your products to watchers.

Related: How Covid-19 Caused Social Media Apps to Pivot with New Features

Potential customers can skip reading countless reviews and ask you questions about the product on the spot. Online shoppers want instant gratification and love hands-on customer support. You're giving both on Facebook Live.

So, is live shopping effective?

All signs point to yes. Here's some proof.

A recent report found that 265 million Chinese internet users bought goods via live streams starting in 2020. That means one in two video streaming watchers are potential video shopping buyers.

Will we see the same results in the U.S.?

If the study in China holds the same proportion here in the U.S., where we have over 232 million online video viewers, then there is a market for roughly 115 million new customers.

Plus, live shopping is a new thing. Amazon Live recently launched, and businesses and influencers are already finding success. That's why now is the time to create a strategy for selling products live on the largest social media network (with over 2.7 billion users).

Related: 4 Ways Businesses Are Capitalizing on the Shift to Online

How do I start selling on Facebook Live shopping?

Getting started is easy. There are four ways to set up Facebook Live Shopping to start selling your products.

  1. If you have a Commerce Account with Facebook Commerce Manager, a linked Facebook page and a product set in your Facebook Catalog, you can tag and feature products from your shop and add links.

  2. If you have a Facebook page but no Commerce Account, you can manually add new products, add a description and create a link to buy right before going live. When you hit the "Go Live" button, you can show the link for specific products to viewers, and they can click and go right to a checkout page.

  3. You can also start a live shopping video without the setup and talk about your products as you go. Then you can add a link to your website in the comments for people to checkout, or they can message you if they are interested. I've seen this work effectively. For example, you can say, "message me with "red dress' and I'll send you a link to buy."

  4. The last way to sell live is to add links during your live stream. This is an easy and effective way to send customers to your website or checkout site by having them click a link on the screen.

For a step-by-step guide to selling on Facebook Live from your desktop, watch my tutorial on Lights Camera Live.

Why try Facebook Live shopping?

I shared how there's a giant shift to online shopping and there's a trend in consumers buying during live streams. Facebook Live shopping is a smart and fun way to:

  • Engage with customers in real-time, which helps showcase your personality and build trust

  • Show how your products work

  • Save consumers time from watching tutorials and reading reviews

  • Answer any objections right away to help close the sale

  • Promote exclusive offers and promotions to viewers

  • Grow your following and drive word-of-mouth marketing

  • A new way to sell products successfully without spending thousands of dollars on advertising

All you need is your mobile device, products, proper lighting and good audio to start selling.

Start strategizing and give it a try today. There are tons of creative possibilities. Maybe you are selling spices and can use them during a live cooking show from your kitchen. Or perhaps you can sell a luxury accessory by showcasing yourself wearing it or feature it on a model from your living room runway. You won't know how well it works or how much money you can make until you try. So, don't be shy, GO LIVE!

Stephanie Garcia

Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

CEO of Lights, Camera, Live

Stephanie Garcia is a digital marketing expert and live video strategist. Named as one of the Top 50 Digital Marketing Thought Leaders by the University of Missouri St. Louis, she hosts the video podcast 'Lights, Camera, Live' and is the co-author of 'Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing.'

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