In 2016, Alibaba launched the Taobao shopping app, and that marked a turning point in the history of eCommerce. The app linked an online Live Stream with an eCommerce channel to let customers watch and purchase products at the same time. After four years of its launch, in 2020, Taobao generated a whopping $7.5 Billion in sales and the world went crazy for Live Stream shopping.
But, wait, why are we talking about Taobao instead of NTWRK?
Well, this is something we call the first-mover advantage. While NTWRK is very popular in America today and is also breaking all the records in acquiring new users, Taobao initiated the Live Stream shopping trend and it will always deserve a mention in the live commerce talks.
NTWRK popularized the concept of Live Stream commerce in the USA and last week announced that it has closed $50 Million in a new funding round led by several investors. The company has been leveraging the benefits of the growing interest of the US audience in live commerce and also shifted to live virtual events during the pandemic. They further plan to invest in growing the platform to now establish a global footprint, as per Techcrunch.
In this article, we will talk about the success of the NTWRK shopping app and the potential of the Live Stream shopping industry to accommodate new players. So, let’s get started.
In the sea of boring shopping applications, NTWRK is a platform that sells cool products in a unique way. The app majorly targets the pop-culture-obsessed generation and offers world-class streetwear and shoes advertised by big names in Hollywood.
NTWRK creates its very own exclusive content where it features big names like Billie Eilish, DJ Khaled, Blake Griffin, and others to get traction and make more sales. Many people call it a mix of Twitter, Twitch, and QVC as it also lets creators interact with viewers to sell products in real-time.
The app is a blend of two things that Gen Z loves the most – the craze for shopping and TV series. On its platform, the company releases hilarious content daily hosted by stars and within it introduces new products that people can buy at the most cost-effective prices.
Its business model is much more than just providing live shopping that users can come into any time they want, as it also features product drops that fulfill the target of building excitement and anticipation among users. This type of feature is also making its way to popular social media platforms like Instagram.
The app is gaining popularity fast in the USA but we are yet to see how people would react to such apps in other countries where Live stream shopping is not a popular trend yet.
Live Streaming of exclusive streetwear merchandise is one of the unique features of the NTWRK shopping app that keeps users hooked. Using it, creators can host live streams and sell their products in real-time.
The app also invites Hollywood stars to host its own exclusive shoppable content live on its app to get enough traction. The platform made over $100,000 in a single day by selling a $250 platinum money counter from Ben Baller – a celebrity jeweler.
NTWRK hosts daily episodes, in which users get to see their favorite celebrities sharing their own opinions about the best streetwear items available globally for purchasing. The app acquires traction using the brightest stars and features the coolest products for gen Z and Millenials. Each episode is created with utmost precision to ensure quality content from top-class editors.
This feature is again developed to get unlimited traction. Through exclusive drops, NTWRK gives users a chance to buy rare and hyped products from brands like Yeezy, Jordan, Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Be@rbrick, and more.
They occasionally drop these exclusive products in partnerships with the coolest brands and keep their users hooked, looking for when they will get a chance to shop these highly coveted hyper beast items. Some of these items that they feature in their daily episodes include sneakers, hip streetwear, and unique collectibles.
Along with exclusive brands, they also partner with some of the up-and-coming brands from all over the world to advertise their products. It helps brands develop the two most important things with customers:
The world associates streetwear with music and fun. That’s why NTWRK organizes these events virtually so that millions of people from around the globe can attend them, have fun, and the app gets the desired popularity.
People from all over the world can attend these virtual festivals to see exclusive streetwear drops, liver interaction platforms, funny commentary by big stars, and musical performances by some of the hottest artists in the pop culture industry.
Merchandise draws is another cool feature of the NTWRK app. The app provides users a chance to buy hard-to-find pieces and winners are announced after every episode. Users don’t even need to purchase anything to enter the drawing and it is open for all fans of the NTWRK shopping app to enter and participate.
NTWRK provides exclusive drawings from big brands for the winners. All in all, it is another smart technique to draw in more and more users.
Now that we know what the NTWRK app is and how it is drawing all the attention of Millennials and Gen Z towards it, let’s see how the Live stream shopping market looks like and what players are earning the major share of the market.
Also Read: How eCommerce App Like Auctionata Went From Success To Failure
The Live stream shopping or live commerce trend emerged from China. The country’s eCommerce leaders like Alibaba started organizing live shopping events along with the collaboration of local celebrities in the early 2010s. Today, almost a decade later, the world has fallen in love with this trend, especially gen Z in the USA.
Here’s how the market looks at present, in 2021:
Particularly, Millennials and Gen Z are the customer segment of Live Stream shopping apps like NTWRK. But, in the USA, live commerce has also started attracting middle-aged consumers. The launch of Amazon live in 2019 and Instagram shopping in 2020 is proof that the Western countries completely embrace the Live Stream shopping trend and the market exhibits endless opportunities for new players.
Similarly, the future possibilities for the evolution of the market are enormous. Endless ideas can be implemented to develop engaging solutions for the Live Stream shopping industry, for example:
Considering the drastic shift to online channels after the pandemic, Live Stream shopping is expected to take over the online shopping market. That’s why if you have been planning to build an online shopping app with a twist, this is the time to act and launch an app like NTWRK in your country.
While the Live Stream Shopping Market is to an extent occupied by the big players in Countries like the USA or China, the rest of the world is yet unaware of the trend and its benefits. Let’s see how you can capitalize on this opportunity by launching an app like NTWRK in your country.
While building any app is not as easy as a walk in the park, you need to be extra careful while developing an app like NTWRK. The implementation of the idea behind NTWRK is a bit complex and you will require a strong plan, tech stack, and a team of professionals to execute it.
Step 1:Do Your Research and Analysis
To begin with, you need to define a business model for your application. Find out whether you have any competitor in the market you are planning to target and the scope of your idea before you implement it. Basically, you can implement the idea of live commerce in three ways:
Social Media Platform: The first way to implement this idea is to develop a social media application and integrate live commerce with it. Or if you already have a social media application, you can consider upgrading it with the live commerce feature.
For example, Instagram has added an in-built checkout feature in its app and Facebook is also working on its Live stream shopping tools. Tiktok is also partnering with Walmart to promote its products in its videos.
Typical eCommerce Platforms: You can also consider developing an eCommerce marketplace with live streaming features. For example, Amazon Live. The app hosts live shows where organizers talk about and display products available for sale on Amazon.
Beneath that, the app displays a carousel where viewers can see product details to make an informed decision. The app streams more than one video at a time and customers can tune to the one that most interests them.
Live Stream Shopping Apps like NTWRK: If you have an out-of-the-box idea like the NTWRK shopping app, you can consider developing a custom live shopping application that helps you stand out among others. However, before you do any experiment make sure your idea is planned, clear, and validated. For creating such an app, you will require the support of some famous brands, celebrities, and a network of influencers to get the initial traction.
Step 2:Build an MVP
No matter what business model you choose for developing a live shopping application, we recommend you take an MVP approach for its development. There is no point in investing a fortune for developing an idea that is not validated by the end-users. So, it is best to create an MVP, get the real user feedback, and continue improvising it. Even the NTWRK app was launched as an MVP in 2018. Here is a list of MVP features of a Live Stream shopping application:
In the subsequent versions of your app, you can consider adding more features like several sign-up options, live search, the ability to save streams, advanced analytics, and more.
Start with an MVP but also plan for the future from the earliest starting point to make sure the app will handle the growing traffic seamlessly. Thus, select a robust tech stack for MVP development that you can scale later on. Search for the perfect CDN and ensure it has a reliable server infrastructure near your target customer’s location and also checks the bandwidth.
Step 3:Plan Your App’s Marketing in Advance
Building an app is one thing but acquiring users for it is another new story that requires effort. To successfully get traction for your app, you need to create a killer pre and post-marketing plan to get into the eyes of customers. Your Live Stream shopping app will only work if you get successful in acquiring a large enough audience.
Brands use one of the following strategies to create the hype:
Limited-edition releases: Several brands drop exclusive products for a limited time to create urgency. It helps them create Fear of Missing Out and that drives sales.
Time-specific discounts: Another way brands use to get the traction and attention of users is by promoting time-specific offers on certain products.
Both of these methodologies create a feeling of exclusivity to the event, delivering an experience that is nothing like traditional eCommerce.
Live Stream shopping is a trend that has already taken China by storm and is now becoming mainstream in western countries like the USA and UK. But, the market still doesn’t have many players and the throne is pretty much empty for an innovative disruptor who exhibits the potential to stand out. If you think that you ever wanted to build an eCommerce business, this is your chance to get started and capitalize on the opportunity.
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Nikhil Bansal is the Founder and CEO of Apptunix, a leading Software Development Company helping startups as well as brands in streamlining their business processes with intuitive and powerful mobile apps. After working in the iOS app development industry for more than 10 years, he is now well-equipped with excellent problem-solving and decision-making techniques.
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