Live commerce is a trend that has been evolving in the e-commerce industry for several years. During live streams on popular online platforms such as Facebook or TikTok, retailers and online stores combine a fashion show with user interaction. Buyers share their purchase intent in the comments during the event or directly in private messages sent to the store, which then finalises the order in the same way.
For customers the so-called “live sales” prove to be more than just a convenient way of shopping (allowing you to shop from the comfort of your sofa, view clothes on a model or mannequin and quickly ask for details or take advantage of special discounts) – it is also a form of entertainment.
“Live commerce is constantly gaining popularity among both shoppers and sellers. From the perspective of the latter, they are a great method of advertising and presentation of products, as well as a way to organise marketing activities. However, this sales channel also brings with it specific challenges, such as informal chat communication, clutter in orders and unfinished transactions. This is where Selmo comes in handy” – says Filip Szczepanik, co-founder and CEO of Selmo.io.
The Selmo.io app works just like a sales assistant: by connecting to Facebook Messenger, it allows to partially automate the conversation with the customer, makes it easier to collect data needed to complete the order and shipment, as well as finalise the transaction using instant payment solutions. It improves the process of collecting and processing orders placed during livestreams or posts on the store’s Facebook page. It also gives better control over orders and inventory and improves the process of shipping goods thanks to functionalities such as automatic labelling. Selmo makes it easier not only for sellers who run livestreams, but also for stores that sell via Facebook without a live commerce model.
“Many online stores are created as a simple reflection of traditional stores. Retailers start their business on social media and streaming platforms using run-of-the-mill tools that, with an increase in sales volume, cease to work. We help improve their operations and support them in post-sales processes – that helps them save time and allows to focus on what they are best at, i.e. promotion and sales” – adds Kuba Karyś, the other founder of Selmo.
The founders of Selmo.io estimate that there are over 10,000 stores in Poland that run livestream sales on Facebook. Their number is on the rise. From a global perspective, “live sales” are already one of the key sales channels for both small stores and large brands. They are particularly popular in China, where in 2020 the value of the live commerce market was estimated at USD 171 billion, and it is forecast to increase to USD 423 billion in 2022. More platforms are opening up to live commerce: apart from Facebook and TikTok jumping on the bandwagon (or planning to) are Amazon, YouTube, Pinterest and Twitter – that’s without streaming platforms created strictly for live sales.
“The potential of this channel is huge, so it’s no wonder that more and more stores are into live sales, including IKEA, Douglas, Tommy Hilfiger, CCC, Sephora and AVON. Initial customer feedback shows that Selmo perfectly solves the problems of entrepreneurs running live sales and simplifies the undertaking of such activities for SMEs. We believe that the usefulness of the platform will soon make it the go-to tool for stores selling via livestreams” – comments Maciej Kosuń, Investment Associate at Tar Heel Capital Pathfinder.
Selmo has been operating in Poland since the beginning of 2021 and is already planning to expand abroad. In the first place, it wants to target the Spanish-speaking markets, where live sales are very popular. The startup is also going to introduce its tools to other platforms such as Instagram, and launch new functionalities developed for customers from the e-commerce sector, for whom live sales is not the main sales channel.