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Live by eBay is on

eBay announced the imminent launch of its live shopping service. Find out why live shopping is all the rage and how it affects your brand’s trademark protection online.

eBay takes a step forward - towards its roots. Yes, you read that right, the platform’s new initiative, Live by eBay is strangely in line with the original purpose of eBay: auctions.

What is Live by eBay

According to its own definition, the soon-to-be launched “Live by eBay is an event-based shopping platform where users can bid in live auctions.” This new venture focuses on classic auction items, including vintage furniture, art, antiques and fashion.

Paintings displayed on easels
Paintings displayed on easels

Interested eBay customers can tune in via video and participate in the auction live. Any shopper with an eBay account can take part in the auction. An online event calendar alerts interested customers to new auctions, and a live video stream provides more information about the auctioned items to help customers make up their minds.

An auction consists of three phases. Each phase lasts a minimum of 30 seconds, but when a bid is placed, the timer starts again. This means that each new bid prolongs the timeframe of the auction by a maximum of 30 seconds (as the amount of bids increases, the additional time will start to decrease), giving customers time to decide if they want to raise their bid or let the item go.

Auction winners will be directed to eBay to deposit their payment and discuss details about receiving the item. Live by eBay is not yet accessible to customers, and so far, the e-Commerce giant hasn’t published an official launch date.

Live is all the rage

Live shopping is nothing new under the sun. In fact, this arm of e-Commerce is projected to reach significant heights: currently valued at $17 billion, the market segment is predicted to reach $35 billion by 2024 in the US alone.

In China, live shopping grew from a “mere” $3 billion in 2017 to $171 billion in 2020. That’s an astonishing growth in three years; no wonder major e-Commerce players are trying to set foot in this territory.

Like Amazon.

The e-Commerce giant has been dabbling in live shopping since 2019. Unfortunately for Amazon, the venture has yet to bring in major success. The reasons for that are manyfold, but they mainly have to do with the actual content broadcasted by sellers.

Screenshot of Amazon.com/live
Screenshot of Amazon.com/live

Apparently, most content creators on Amazon Live aren’t able to produce engaging, entertaining content, which results in low interactions and even lower sales. And since other platforms are already offering live shopping and doing it well, brands and major influencers have no reason to appear on Amazon Live.

In addition, most Amazon customers know what they want when they enter the platform. The search bar quickly leads them to the desired products and they spend little to no time browsing other offers. But live shopping is as much about the experience as the products themselves, which may be another reason why shoppers flock to other platforms for it.

For example, TikTok, Facebook and Instagram all offer live shopping options, and since users of these platforms generally expect to be entertained instead of quick, efficient transactions like on Amazon, their live shopping features tend to be more successful.

Just like the German newcomer Ritzi. Introduced on our blog last year, Ritzi is a live shopping app that promises an easy and immersive live shopping experience to shoppers and sellers alike.

From this year on, Ritzi is partnering with Alibaba to increase the popularity of live shopping in Europe. Success seems to be inevitable: according to a study, 70% of Europeans are open to live shopping and thus the market segment is bound to reach new heights on our continent as well.

Even brick-and-mortar retail chains are jumping on the bandwagon: German drugstore chain dm has recently launched dmLive, a live shopping stream available via the store’s mobile application.

It seems that live shopping is aiming to be a significant part of e-Commerce. But why is this type of shopping so popular?

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Live shopping’s popularity explained

The COVID-19 pandemic has given the entire e-Commerce industry a significant boost. But as we can see from the numbers, live shopping was already popular even before the pandemic, at least in China. Then came COVID, and live shopping rose to new heights in other parts of the world as well.

The secret to this popularity is manyfold. There are aspects of live shopping that resonate very well with both sellers and consumers.

Independence and flexibility. Presenting products via live video feed can be done at the best possible time and from the best possible location. You don’t need to stick to working hours and your business’ location: you can do it at the time that suits you (and your potential customers!) best, and choose a space that fits your presentation perfectly.

Reduced costs. There’s no need to invest in costly equipment and rent out a fully functioning TV studio. A simple smartphone camera and favourable lighting will be enough to create a compelling livestream. If you compare it to producing a teleshopping show or even a TV ad, the costs of livestreaming are significantly lower.

Easy implementation. Forget about lengthy meetings and complicated strategies. All you need to do is show the product in the best light, and give practical tips and useful information that will catch the consumers’ attention and make them realize that they need your product.

Interactivity. Since livestreams are, as their name suggests, live, they provide the perfect opportunity to connect with your customers. Most channels give viewers the option to ask questions via chat, which transforms the event from a passive TV show to real, meaningful interaction. Basically, it’s like chatting to customers in your store, but through a livestream, you can talk to hundreds of them at the same time.

Authenticity. No script means spontaneity and a natural approach that shows your products’ real worth. Instead of carefully crafted marketing messages, you can be yourself and engage your customers in an authentic conversation. To increase your authenticity, you can invite experts to discuss various aspects of your products, elevating your status in the industry and earning your customers’ respect.

Picture of a livestreaming session
Picture of a livestreaming session

All in all, livestreams provide a tremendous asset for your brand. A regular, authentic broadcast helps you position your brand and gives you a “face” in front of customers. Livestreams also provide you with an opportunity to show your brand’s values and create the best possible public image and reputation.

From an online brand protection point of view

Live shopping creates transparency and authenticity, which is great for honest sellers and bad for fraudsters. After all, a livestreaming session clearly shows both the seller and the product, which is usually exactly what vendors of fake and grey market products want to avoid.

Also, the technical requirements of livestreaming are so low that anyone with internet access and a smartphone can do a live session without any issues. (Building an audience, on the other hand, is somewhat harder but still manageable.)

Unfortunately, there’s a downside as well.

Just like with other easy-to-use solutions (like Shopify), fraudsters and honest sellers have equal opportunities to access live shopping. And while the nature of livestreaming is not exactly in favour of fraudsters, they may still find a way to stay relatively anonymous and dupe customers.

For instance, there are influencers who knowingly and proudly promote fake products. Given the easy access to livestreaming, fraudsters like these can reach a wide audience and cause serious harm for your brand.

So what can you do?

A comprehensive online brand protection program

That’s as easy as livestreaming: set up a comprehensive online brand protection program. globaleyez has a highly scalable array of services that can be tailored to your brand’s exact needs regarding livestreaming and any other concerns you may have.

For example, our marketplace and social media monitoring services detect keywords and images on over 150 major and minor online marketplaces and social media platforms. In case of livestreaming, we find keywords of your brand or products in the descriptions, which means that fraudsters trying to use your trademarks to gain an audience can’t stay hidden.

Beyond that, we can track your product sales on eBay and many other marketplaces, ensuring you get a complete picture of both authorized and unauthorized sales of your products.

Furthermore, with image monitoring we discover your brand imagery used anywhere on the internet while our partner compliance service checks for non-compliant behaviour of your business partners, which includes broadcasting unauthorized livestreams.

Altogether, our solutions aim to create a clean marketplace presence for your brand where fraudsters and unauthorized listings don’t tarnish your reputation and ruin your revenue. Contact us if you have any concerns about livestreaming or any other trademark issues your brand faces.

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