Affordances of Selling through Live Streaming as a New Social Commerce Platform
Keywords:Social commerce, Social media, Customer behavior, Live stream selling, Online shopping
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the perceptions of online sellers towards using live streaming videos over social networking sites as a platform for social commerce in terms of their modes of operation, opportunities, challenges, and strategies. The study aims to explore sellers’ perspective and determine how such a method is adopted in terms of various structural and functional aspects and is considered useful for the sellers of developing countries. In doing so, the study employs a qualitative research approach through semi-structured expert interviews with 11 online sellers who sell their products through live streaming videos over different social media channels. The findings of this study has revealed that social networking sites are perceived as a useful platform of social commerce because of their free of cost availability, easy adaptability, facility for hosting business pages, and international accessibility. The study has determined that there are several challenges that the sellers face during selling through live streaming such as lack of exclusiveness with regard to selling activities, difficulty in building customers’ trust, fake buyers, and disturbing and negative viewers. To cope with these identified challenges, the sellers adopt off the platform solutions for transactions and customer management, offer cash back rewards or other gifts and maintain high possible quality at reasonable rates to build trust and win in business competition, ask for full or partial payment in advance to deal with fake buyers, and simply ignore and block disturbing viewers in their live stream.
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