What is the Best Setup for Live Video Commerce?

Before you start offering live 1:1 video shopping, you need to figure out where you're going to sell from. Understand three primary live video commerce setups and choose the best one for your business.

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If offering live video commerce on your ecommerce site is a priority, one of the very first decisions you'll have to make is where to actually offer a live stream shopping experience from. There are multiple video commerce setups available, and one, or multiple arrangements might work best for your business.

If you're wondering what the best setup for your live video shopping experience is, we've broken down three of the main models for live selling below, including the key benefits and considerations before you choose one approach to livestream shopping over another.

First, a quick aside. For these shopping models, we are referring to 1:1 live shopping experiences. 1:many live shopping shows or social commerce events - such as those hosted on Facebook Live,  Popshop Live, or another social media platform - are a wholly different experience, one that is likely best suited to a studio model or an at-home model.

Model 1: In-Store Live Video Commerce

The most common setup for offering live commerce is to have associates take calls from within a brick and mortar environment. This allows retailers to bring the 'theater of the store' into a consumer's home, and takes advantage of existing resources and assets. 

Brands can simply use their retail space to service more customers while expanding reach and increasing revenue per square foot. Dedicating a space on the floor is also a way to engage and pique the interest of customers walking through your store, even if they aren't actually taking part in live streaming calls from online shopping customers. 

This model is best suited for brands with: 

  • At least 1 brick & mortar location
  • A relatively synchronized online / in-store merchandise
  • Space to host live shopping

Benefits of the in-store model:

  • Maximize revenue per square foot
  • Leverage existing staffing resources
  • No need to invest in a new space
  • Easy access to in-store stock
  • Promotional opportunity for your new service by engaging and piquing the interest of in-store shoppers

Considerations for the in-store model:

  • Split attention spans of staff (unless hiring dedicated resources)
  • Noise and foot traffic 
  • Retail store location operating hours
  • Stability and reliability of the in-store Wi-Fi router
  • Equipment requirements and security
  • Privacy of in-store shoppers

Model 2: Studio Live Video Commerce

The studio model of live 1:1 shopping can also be described as a 'ghost store' or 'darkstore'. Essentially you're creating an environment where shoppers can only browse products through a livestream shopping experience, and not visit in person. 

With a studio model, you can create branded stages and sets, with products and displays that can be set up and torn down in minutes. Studio sets and displays allow you to quickly respond to changing customer behavior and expand your customer reach digitally with fewer physical locations.

Studio sets for live video shopping can take a number of formats, including simulating the look and feel of a brick and mortar location, or a simpler setup with a branded backdrop and easy access to merchandise. A studio set could even be styled to simulate a specific space, like a makeup studio, fashion runway, garage, or kitchen. 

This model is best suited for brands with:

  • No brick & mortar locations (digitally native or DTC brands)
  • A desire to control the experience
  • Limited space in retail locations
  • Dedicated resources to host live commerce calls

You might be wondering what studio employees will be doing during downtime between live video shopping calls. Apart from ensuring their livestream shopping space is always primed and ready for calls, as well as training, the simple answer is your studio team can also be leveraged as a content team by your marketing and merchandising teams.

The studio staff can produce video content with product demos, walk-throughs, tips and tricks, new arrivals, reviews, comparisons, and more, all of which can be leveraged through social media, PDPs, and even the waiting room for your live commerce experience. ‍

Benefits of the studio model:

  • Controlled and optimized experience across lighting, backdrop, audio / video, and live stream signal strength
  • Ability to revamp space based on seasonality, promotions, or campaigns
  • Will always have access to all required stock
  • Dedicated live advisor specialists that are trained for interactive selling
  • Secured and limited investment in equipment
  • Ability to have multiple sets and offer a multi-brand experience (if applicable) from within one or more dedicated space(s)

Considerations for the studio model:

  • Studio space will need to be constructed and maintained
  • Managing inventory within the studio; how much stock is required? What will happen to stock in the studio once it's no longer relevant? 
  • Studio hours

Model 3: In-Home Live Video Commerce

Opening up live video commerce to at-home selling is less about having products visible for shoppers to experience, and more about having a conversation with a product expert. 

Selling remotely through live streaming allows retailers to sell in new and flexible ways, for example, by hiring technical experts in a particular area that might not be close to a location where the retailer has a studio or retail space. It also allows brands to staff their live shopping with expanded or even round-the-clock hours. Finally, retailers can tap into the power of promotional live shopping experiences, by recruiting a popular influencer to answer calls and giving their brand an exclusive edge over the competition.

If you're offering in-home shopping, one major consideration is the setup of the live selling experience. Some brands may want to provide kits to ensure a standard experience for selling from home, while others may trust their team members to choose a professional setting and backdrop.

This model is best suited for brands with:

  • Large global reach looking to extend service beyond standard hours
  • Associates who have a 1:1 relationship with specific clients or followers
  • A trusted team of associates 
  • The desire to employ specialists, product experts, or brand evangelists regardless of geographic location

Benefits of the in-home model:

  • Comfortable, welcoming environment for more casual interactions
  • Ability to expand live selling workforce beyond geographic boundaries 
  • More flexible selling hours that work for both the associate and customer

Considerations for the in-home model:

  • Limited or no access to products 
  • Limited oversight of brand representatives
  • Consistency and quality of at-home setup


Is there one right live selling model for every retailer? Truly, no. Every business is unique, and many businesses may find that a combination of these live video commerce models works best for their business. 

We recommend starting out with the model that requires the least friction for your business and then exploring new live shopping setups as opportunities arise. For example, you may think it's a great idea to run live shopping out of your flagship store based in New York City. But if a ton of shoppers on the West Coast get frustrated with only being able to access the live shopping experience on East Coast hours, it may be time to look at opening a second ghost store on the West Coast to more thoroughly cover North American time zones.

Or to use another example, if global demand for your live shopping experience accelerates, it might be time to extend hours and start recruiting an army of at-home personal shoppers that know your product inside and out and can sell it on their own schedule (while expanding your availability). 

The good news is, GhostRetail is able to adapt to any of these live video commerce selling models, at any time. We can route calls to any available associate, no matter which live shopping experiences you offer. Contact us today to learn more about getting your live 1:1 video commerce experience set up in a matter of weeks. 

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