Amazon is copying the practice of some brick-and-mortar stores by starting its own shopping channel, Amazon Live, which will promote its own products. This is another challenge to retailers as Amazon now controls about half of US e-commerce market.Amazon is already well ahead of traditional stores such as Best Buy, Macy’s, and Walmart. The existence of Amazon Live was first reported by Techcrunch.
According to Wikipedia: “QVC (an acronym for “Quality Value Convenience”) is an American cable, satellite and broadcast television network, and flagship shopping channel specializing in televised home shopping that is owned by Qurate Retail Group. Founded in 1986 by Joseph Segel in West Chester, Pennsylvania, United States, QVC broadcasts to more than 350 million households in seven countries as QVC US, QVC UK, QVC Germany, QVC Japan, QVC Italy, QVC/CNR (China) and QVC France.”
QVC is one of the companies that Amazon has crushed in market share. The company broadcasts it own shows in which hosts chat about available products. This make it easier for people to watch along and buy. Amazon is now mimicking the QVC approach by having live streams available on its site as well as a new app called Amazon Live Creator. The app appears to be aimed at smaller brands to record there live streams and serve as live forums. These could take questions from customers and enable sellers to demonstrate products.
Other features of the channel
The app is different from a traditional home shopping channel in that it allows for several live streams to happen at one time.
At one time, the app was streaming a promotion of Amazon Echo Dot, a Valentine’s gift stream promoting a chocolate fountain, and another stream about a tempered glass whiteboard. In between each live stream segment there are breaks that advertise items such as the Echo Dot again. So there are ads within ads now.
Amazon has few physical stores
It does have a few stores but they do not carry many of the large objects you find in their warehouses. When shopping on the Amazon platform customers need to worry about fake reviews and products. This is particularly a problem when buying larger or more expensive goods from unknown brands. Customers need to spend time looking at customer reviews, videos, and photos.
Will customers be willing to spend time watching the videos?
Perhaps the videos will help customers with the vetting process but it is always possible that they just won’t want to spend that much time. Each show runs through about 30 different products in each stream with the hosts discussing whether they find them useful or not.
Amazon already has record sales in North America. The live shopping stream seem aimed at middle America. However, the new app is only available if you have an invite code and an Amazon account. There has been no announcement of when that will change.