Amazon Live: Brands Connecting with Customers in Real Time

by Carina McLeod

Many marketers have confirmed they have seen a far higher conversion rate on videos versus content, if done correctly. With today’s addiction to social media, mobile and tablets, videos are easy to access. They have become a replacement to watching the news on TV at breakfast time or reading a newspaper on the train to and from work. Videos are easy to digest, they grab your attention and, if done well, create a much higher level of engagement.

The History of Amazon Seller Videos

Amazon.com, Inc. ("Amazon") has been slow on the video front, as it’s not an easy one to implement. Videos are data heavy and need to be reviewed. One inappropriate video on Amazon that is not correctly vetted could be a party for the press and very damaging to Amazon’s reputation.

However, Amazon is progressing. Amazon vendors have been able to upload videos across a number of marketplaces for years in the image gallery. On the seller side, this has been a relatively new feature for those enrolled in the Brand Registry in the US. Even Amazon Advertising recently launched Video In Search (VIS) for mobile. In addition, Amazon.com quietly launched Video Shorts a few years ago, although this didn’t really take off and seems to be focused more on specific companies creating videos for brands, as opposed to brands creating and uploading their own. Amazon recently announced Amazon Live to the US sellers, bringing interactive livestreams to Amazon customers.

What is Amazon Live?

Amazon Live is effectively an online shopping channel, featuring livestreamed videos hosted by Amazon as well as brands that create their own livestreams. The livestreams hosted by Amazon are very similar to how QVC and traditional TV shopping channels work, showcasing products supported by fantastic deals. This is a service brands pay for, and it comes at a premium. Brands can also produce livestreams themselves through an app called Amazon Live Creator.

Amazon Live Creator

For those brands that don’t have more than $50,000 in their back pocket to invest in Amazon Live, Amazon Live Creator is the next-best solution. Amazon Live Creator is an app that is available on mobile. Brands create video themselves live while interacting with their product and showing it in full action. Not only can brands demonstrate their products, they can also interact with their audience by chatting directly with their customers. Customers get to ask questions, comment and react to the presenters. If the customer likes what they see, they can also purchase the product directly from a product carousel displayed below the livestream. The livestreams will appear on Amazon.com/Live, the product pages for that brand and other placements where customers browse. At this time, there is no cost to livestream on Amazon using Amazon Live Creator.

Who is Eligible to Participate in Amazon Live?

Amazon Live is only available to brand owners enrolled in the Brand Registry and to Professional sellers selling on Amazon.com. Not all categories are enabled for Amazon Live, including categories such as Industrial Supplies and Handmade. The tool is also only available and optimized for the iPhone. While it can be used on iPad, the experience is not optimized. It is not currently available on Android.

How to Get Started With Amazon Live

  1. Download the Amazon Live Creator app on your iPhone. You can use the camera on the mobile or encode video from a professional camera.
  2. Log in with the email address tied to your Seller Central / Brand Registry account.
  3. When you first log in, you will need to select the brand enrolled in the Brand Registry. The livestream will then be displayed on the product pages of that brand. Make sure you have owner rights for the brand in the Brand Registry to be able to select the brand.
  4. You can then schedule your livestream for a specific time or go live straight away.
  5. We suggest multiple people logging in to help during the livestream event. One person presenting, another with the camera and another responding to customer messages.

Is it Worth the Investment?

It is still early days and the audience is relatively small. However, it is best to think about the long term and future of this initiative. I spoke about the importance of video at the start of this post, and I believe this program will continue to grow and evolve. While the return on investment may initially be small, it is still an initiative you should not ignore. Get practicing now, as livestreaming takes time, and practice to really master how to engage your audience in a professional manner. You’ll find few competitors taking part and most importantly you are creating video content that you can re-use. Plus, if you like being on camera, now is your chance to shine!

Originally published on June 4, 2019, updated July 1, 2019

This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.

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