Retailers can start livestreaming by targeting low-hanging and instant-impact sales and then move on to more creative approaches.

George Meek, CEO of InPlayer

You’ve heard it many times before: Technology is changing the way we do business. Advances in processor speeds, wireless connectivity and artificial intelligence, among other enhancements, are strengthening connections with consumers and creating new profit opportunities.

 

And because you aren’t one to stand in the way of progress (or profits), you’ve already embraced many of these modern technologies on your platforms—including livestreaming and ecommerce. Take a bow.

Streaming and online sales are markets too lucrative to leave untapped. But understanding that you should monetize livestream content is just the first step. After that comes the hard part: deciding what to sell. Considering how to integrate ecommerce into your over-the-top (OTT) broadcasts? Below are ways to start.

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Consider your market

Which products are most important to your customers? If you’re a musician, tickets and merchandise sales probably are most important—ditto for sports franchises.

Target low-hanging and instant-impact sales, then begin thinking creatively. For example, instead of commercial ads, how about a virtual “mall” that sells select products at halftime of games? Also: How might you package or bundle items? A consumer willing to spend $100 or more on a pro wrestling pay-per-view, for instance, might be uniquely interested in discounts for on-site tickets to the next big event—or vice versa.

Assess your existing platform

Give your systems a long, hard look and be honest about what you’re capable of right now. For example, you might already have a streaming platform and an ecommerce site or plug-in; but have you considered new offerings or areas of opportunity? Would they require new tech or strategies? And if you currently lack livestreaming and ecommerce capabilities, you should begin evaluating platforms that provide the necessary tools to deliver your highest-yield products to your customers.

Don’t waste too much time deciding. If your needs outgrow your preferred platform or services (or never fit in the first place), upgrading or changing providers isn’t a massive undertaking. And in the meantime, you can determine your best online sellers and learn viable strategies to apply in the future.

Build a flexible, long-term livestreaming plan

Once you’ve done what you can to optimize your existing platforms, leverage your current products and services, start thinking about the future. And think big. What sort of creative tie-ins or add-ons are scalable, repeatable and, of course, profitable? Possibilities include:

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  • Special virtual appearances by bands.
  • Streaming films bundled with DoorDash discounts to bring dinner-and-a-movie experiences into your home.
  • Virtual cooking classes that seamlessly connect to an online shopping portal where the user can purchase products from brands like Cuisinart and Wolfgang Puck.

Retailers should tailor proven models (think sponsorships and licensing deals) for online platforms but keep an open mind about opportunities and approaches that they have yet to explore.

InPlayer is a monetization and subscriber management platform.

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