How to move the physical store experience online

One of the most important competitive parameters in retail today is to create experiences, rather than just promoting product and price

It’s a fact: millions of customers around the world are turning to live shopping on social media. Forcibly closed shops set the phenomenon in motion during 2020 due to COVID-19.

With live sales, stores, brands, and e-commerce can provide customers with an interactive retail experience similar to the one you find in physical stores; the whole retail trade, as we knew it, has been reinvented.

Retailers and customers love this new way of shopping, as it enables real-time interaction between consumers and sellers.

Via live sales, businesses can improve the experience of online shopping, as they are able to take advantage of what physical stores take for granted – personal connection. With live sales, businesses build customer relationships on a large scale using a ‘one-to-many’ approach, and interact with customers, just as an employee would in a physical store.

The result is a more personal experience, which mixes online shopping with entertainment, whilst building your brand.


Woman in Leather Shop
Online shopping

Let’s take a closer look at some areas that hosts can use in their live sales to be successful:

1) Clearly show, describe, and demonstrate your products

We’ve been shopping online in the same boring way for 15 years – choosing solely from a product image and a description. One of the biggest challenges with online sales is that customers can’t experience touching the product or trying it on. But with live sales this is different, as customers can ask for, and then be given, all the information they need to make a decision about buying the item. In as much detail as you want, you can describe the quality of the item, explain features, how it feels, wear it, use it and explain why customers should buy it.

2) Give good tips and advice

Now that your customers have a good understanding of the product, explain how it will benefit them.

Talk about the style itself and where or when the item can be used.

This is your chance to inspire the customer and close the deal – just like you would in a physical store.

You need to captivate your audience by explaining the needs your product will meet.

For example, if you know most of your customers are busy parents, you might talk about how trendy a pair of casual trousers can be a useful addition to their wardrobe. But if you really want to sell a lot of them, you need to explain more, so you could talk about how comfortable and versatile they are, that they can be used day and night, whether relaxing on the sofa or popping to the grocery store….

Always use your customers’ needs as a starting point.

3) Give suggestions for styling and composition

By bringing together more items, you increase the chance of additional sales. Assemble the products that appear in your live sales as you would in your fitting room; right from the start, capture the viewer with a bestseller, then show similar or complementary products.

Girl shopping online

4) Present and review current campaigns

In physical stores, staff often present promotional campaigns and offers to the customers. You can do the same in live sales too. Because viewers can jump into the middle of live sales, it’s important that you mention your offers several times. In addition to informing the newcomers, you are also constantly reminding your other viewers.

5) Answer questions

Good service and customer satisfaction are vital, but it can be harder to ensure these aspects of your business successfully through regular online shops. But with live sales, you can interact with customers in real-time. They can ask you questions via the comments section, and hosts can immediately give their answers. This provides credibility that is hard to beat – even in a physical store. Through live sales you can build trust and customer loyalty by acknowledging customers’ individual questions, in front of all your viewers. Make your customers feel special, start a conversation and show interest in them.


Live sales are in the process of transforming the retail sector, and combine the best of both worlds –  the physical shopping experience and online accessibility. More and more customers can be reached on social media, and it’s more important than ever to find ways to access them. High levels of customer satisfaction, traditionally experienced in physical stores, can be now be found online.

With live shopping on Facebook, you can offer a personal and intimate experience that embraces professionalism and interaction in real-time, engaging customers with your brand. Whether you have a physical or online store, it’s an investment, and it will ensure you’re ready for the buying behaviour of the future. Live sales are here to stay.

Christian Vester

Christian Vester

Strategy & Sales - ELISA

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