Risky Ritzi? - Threats and opportunities of live-stream shopping
The new Ritzi app enables live-stream shopping, revolutionizing e-Commerce. Discover what kinds of opportunities and threats Ritzi presents for your brand, and how to make the most of it.
Remember teleshopping? The specific program (or even dedicated TV-channels, like QVC) where overly enthusiastic people tried various products and promised audiences that this was the best cooking pan/carpet cleaning equipment/cashmere sweater they’ve ever encountered.
While people’s television watching habits have certainly changed since the invention of TV shopping in 1979, teleshopping has tried to keep up with the changing times and adjusted several of its signature features. For example, instead of calling a telephone number, customers can order the desired product online and ask their questions via live-chat.
However, thanks to a new app, the worlds and audiences of tele- and online shopping are about to collide even more.
Founded in 2020, Ritzi is one of the newest newcomers in e-Commerce. A love child of teleshopping and online commerce, Ritzi vows to transform “online to onlive.”
It seems simple enough: sellers can broadcast live-stream videos on the platform, connecting with customers in real time. Ritzi promises a smooth and fast shopping experience with easy payment options and professional features that pleases sellers and customers alike.
As seen on Ritzi’s website, which is currently only available in German, the app presents itself as a new shopping channel that is both on- and offline and that allows people to immerse themselves in an entirely new experience.
As the website explains, sellers can transform their shops into production studios for compelling, interactive sales live-streams. Ritzi sellers can connect with their customers in real time and offer a shopping experience that no other social media platforms can provide. For customers, Ritzi promises fast and easy connection, interactivity, and convenient payment options.
The idea is not entirely new. In fact, live-shopping is already widely popular in some markets, for example China. In 2020, around 560 million people watched live-streamed shopping videos in China, which corresponds to 39% of the country’s population. The industry is already estimated to bring $60 billion annually.
Big names in Chinese e-Commerce, like Taobao and JD.com are at the forefront of live-streamed shopping as well. Joining a session is easy: on Taobao, for example, customers simply have to click on live to see which streams are available at any given moment.
In fact, Alibaba has also recently announced to launch a live-streaming feature on its platform. This will allow vendors to start their own interactive live-stream channels via Alibaba’s own content delivery network, Alibaba Cloud.
2022 Spring update: In early 2022 Alibaba disclosed a new plan to cooperate with Ritzi. The Chinese e-Commerce giant will allow Ritzi to use its technology, ApsaraVideo Live to strengthen live-shopping in Europe. This step and the easy-to-use technology should help Ritzi scale its live-streaming programme and reach new markets. In addition, the Ritzi app will be available in the Alibaba Cloud Marketplace.
Why so popular
Live-shopping as offered by Ritzi may be the missing link that could bridge the gap between online and physical shopping. While many people enjoy the convenience of shopping from their home (which, next to the global pandemic, greatly contributes to the shrinking of physical retail), the experience is a lot more impersonal than walking into a store and connecting with the products as well as sales personnel. Actually, some sellers have successfully experimented with onlive shopping and video calls during the hard months of COVID lockdowns.
Thanks to live-shopping, viewers get to experience the product in action, receive sales advice from knowledgeable personnel, and connect with real people in real time. Apart from actually touching and trying the product themselves, this is the next best thing to a physical retail shopping experience.
No wonder Ritzi has an optimistic outlook for the future. By the end of this year, the newcomer shopping app aims to achieve 700.000 downloads and expand its presence from its current market (Germany) to Europe and Dubai. (Why Dubai? There could be many reasons, one of them being the fact that many German influencers have recently moved to Dubai.) By 2022, Ritzi wants to enter the US market as well.
What does it mean for brands?
The advantages offered by the Ritzi app could be very helpful for brands. However, brands are not the only actors facing new opportunities here, as counterfeiters and grey marketers could also make use of the new shopping platform.
Advantages for brands
A new way to connect with existing and new customers is definitely a cause for celebration. Brands, along with their authorized sellers and influencers could very well use Ritzi to produce compelling live-streams to present products and draw in customers.
The app’s interactivity ensures that real, meaningful connections can be established with customers during and after a live-stream session. As this new way to connect offers a more personal touch than a webshop, an online marketplace, or even a company website, the Ritzi app could be a great help to enhance customer satisfaction, trust, and ultimately, loyalty for the brand.
As videos are much more effective at catching people’s eye than simple text or static images, video campaigns on platforms like Ritzi could help a brand widen its reach and boost sales.
And, last but not least, a significant advantage is the actual presentation of your brand. Unlike on a regular online marketplace where you have little to no control over how your products are presented, Ritzi allows you to build a marketplace presence entirely according to your brand image. This allows for a flawless marketplace presence that greatly contributes to a coherent, positive reputation of your brand - an invaluable asset in today’s world.
What’s easy for brands on Ritzi becomes just as easy for counterfeiters and grey marketers. Due to the nature of the app, any seller, both authorized and unauthorized, can set up a platform and start offering products via live-streams. When done correctly, these videos can be very compelling and projecting an aura of authenticity, even in the case of counterfeiters or grey marketers.
Since the app is still very new, we don’t have a lot of data about its policy on IP rights, how and whether it vets its sellers, and how to report fake or unauthorized sellers. However, based on our past experience, we can assume that sellers of fake products will find the platform and thus pose a problem for brands. How big of a problem? That remains to be seen.
In the meantime, you don’t have to bite your nails about potential threats swarming your brand on Ritzi. Instead, set up a comprehensive online brand protection program to protect your brand against such threats.
For example, globaleyez’s marketplace and app monitoring services ensure the timely detection of potential threats, including counterfeits and grey market products.
In a nutshell,marketplace monitoring allows us to discover product listings, whether original or fake, offered by unauthorized sellers. With app monitoring, on the other hand, we look for content in apps, like brand imagery, that infringes our clients’ IP rights.
Ritzi is a newcomer that brings serious e-Commerce potential for brands, sellers, and consumers alike. But to take full advantage of the opportunities the Ritzi app offers, you should take the potential threats into consideration as well.
A comprehensive online brand protection program offered by globaleyez ensures that our dedicated experts routinely monitor the internet for threats to your brand like fake or grey market products, allowing you to fully concentrate on the new opportunities the Ritzi app (or anything else) brings along.
Reach out to us and find out how our services can help your brand.