Top 10 Live Selling Platforms Driving U.S. E-Commerce in 2023

post-author
11 min read

Consumer demographics in the U.S. are going through a major shift. Millennials in their 30s are becoming the primary target for consumer brands, with products ranging from fashion and home goods to cars and luxury items. Closely following millennials are Gen Z shoppers, who are more ‘just for the moment’ than any previous generations. The common theme among these groups is that they have grown up (and stay) glued to their smartphone screens and discover everything—from news to products they want to buy—from peers and creators featured in their feeds.

These greener consumers make decisions on the fly, and their decisions are driven massively by trends of the moment. We believe this will be a driving factor in making live video commerce their primary purchasing medium.

First Things First: What is Live Selling?

Live selling, also known as live video commerce or live shopping, involves sellers live streaming shows on mobile phone apps and social media channels where they showcase multiple products in real time and present instant offers. The viewers and customers who are watching the stream can click on video overlays or comment on the video stream to buy these items in real time. 

An established practice in China, the live selling market there hit $500 billion in 2022 and is predicted to skyrocket to $1 trillion by 2026. The live commerce industry in the U.S. has yet to take off fully, with recent projections citing $57 billion by 2025.

If you are a consumer brand or merchant, it’s imperative that you make live selling and video commerce an integral part of your e-commerce strategy in 2023. Below we have provided a comprehensive list of the pros and cons of the major platforms in the market to help you choose the one that best fits your needs.

2023’s Top Live Selling Platforms to Grow Your Business

Finding the right live selling platform for your business is extremely important as the market is flooded with live selling technologies for different use cases. Live selling platforms offer a wide range of features: from single-channel live streaming to multicasting, multi-host and turnkey business operations, to just a marketplace front end…no matter your business’s needs, there’s already a live selling platform ideal for you. Below are our top picks for live selling platforms in 2023 to help you narrow down and choose the easiest live selling platform for your business. 

#1: CommentSold

CommentSold is the leading live selling platform in the U.S. With almost $4 billion in lifetime GMV (value of items sold through the platform), CommentSold claims the lion’s share of U.S. live selling transactions. Their live selling turnkey platform provides everything a small business needs to power their live selling, e-commerce, inventory management, and fulfillment needs. 

CommentSold is also the only platform that provides a completely white-labeled mobile app, super tuned toward multichannel live selling conversions. Apps are available for both iOS and Android platforms and are powered by an easy-to-use, end-to-end platform which includes everything from inventory control to shipping and fulfillment. Their live selling technology has grown businesses 800% over a period of 1 to 2 years after adopting their platform. 

CommentSold supports nearly 7,000 merchants, with more 100 of those merchants generating more than $500 thousand in monthly sales.

Cell Phone Shopping while Live Streaming

Cost: Starting $149/month + 3% of GMV

Use Case: Fashion boutiques, small businesses, creators with their own product lines

Selling Channels: Sell on your own website and mobile app. Multi-cast simultaneously to Facebook, Instagram, & TikTok, and allow customers to purchase directly on social media streams.

Pros:

  • Turnkey video commerce platform 
  • White-glove onboarding and help setting up your business
  • Interactive, shoppable live sales & shoppable ‘live replays’
  • Custom website & mobile app creation
  • Centralized inventory and warehouse management system
  • Fulfillment and shipping options with multi-carrier support
  • Multicast shoppable streams to all social channels
  • Simple barcode scan to change products on live selling interface 
  • In-app checkout with integrated 1-click payment flow
  • Third-party integrations with Klaviyo, Shopify, and others
  • Marketing automation & reporting
  • Gamified interface to multiply live shopping conversion 
  • Dropship catalog to expand your inventory at no-risk

Cons:

  • Businesses using existing e-commerce platforms need to migrate data and business processes to maximize value
  • Does not support multi-host option
  • Does not have a marketplace so you need to find your own audience

Unique Selling Points: Why CommentSold is the Top Live Selling Platform

  • Only platform to support multicasting to social media channels while you go live on your website/app
  • Only platform to allow ‘comment selling’—where a customer can just comment on a livestream video and get pulled into a purchase cycle
  • Only platform to provide end-to-end software for everything you need to run your business, including white-labeled website and mobile apps
  • Multiple gamification features proven to increase conversion rates up to 4 times higher than regular e-commerce engagement

#2: Bambuser

Sweden-based Bambuser is a live streaming tech company that launched one-to-one and one-to-many live selling in 2019. The brand’s “phygital” solutions utilize offline and online strategies to create a customized and innovative user shopping experience. Bambuser works on pretty much any e-commerce platform but requires a series of integration work to be done before you can launch with them. It provides very strong foundations with a reliable and polished platform for large brands to launch live selling.

Cost: On request – SaaS

Use Case: Brands, large retailers

Selling Channels: Your website, additional streaming (without direct selling) to Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and LinkedIn using RTMP

Pros:

  • One-to-one streaming allowing you to provide concierge live selling to top customers 
  • Hi-definition live streams embedded on your website
  • White-glove service and on-site support to set up your live studios
  • Third-party integrations with CRM systems
  • Customizable live shopping interfaces
  • Audio descriptions & closed captions
  • Mobile SDK to embed live selling into customers’ mobile app
  • Provides real-time integration with your inventory management system through custom integration

Cons:

  • No branded webstore or app
  • Can be expensive; suited well for large brands
  • No social media streaming integrations
  • Steep learning curve

Unique Selling Points:

  • Bambuser has a global presence and powers brands all over the world
  • Enterprise level customizations and integrations with very large e-commerce implementations
  • Seamless integrations with enterprise-class CRM and marketing automation platforms

#3: Videeo

Videeo is a bolt-on, fully-customizable solution for brands that want to add live shopping to their existing commerce stack. With Videeo, brands can broadcast stunning, high-speed, shoppable video streams on their website simply by adding a few lines of code. Every live show gets recorded and can be embedded as shoppable ‘live replays’ which keep on generating revenue for you as long as your inventory lasts. The platform offers white-glove service to help brands and enterprise businesses create an immersive and engaging shopping experience with up to 10 times the conversion potential.

Cost: Project based – SaaS 

Use Case: Enterprise businesses, brands, retailers, creators, celebrities

Selling Channels: Instagram, Facebook, your website

Pros:

  • Works with any e-commerce platform (Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce)—just add a few lines of code
  • Multicast to Facebook and Instagram
  • Interactive, shoppable live sales & replays
  • Checkout integrated with your existing e-commerce cart
  • White-glove onboarding & support
  • Sales report and live sale performance insights
  • Mobile SDK to embed within your mobile app

Cons:

  • Does not provide mobile apps
  • Does not provide multi-host live streaming yet

Unique Selling Points:

  • Enables any brand/retailer, large or small, to start live selling on their website in less than a week
  • Enables multicasting and live selling on Facebook and Instagram
  • Has mobile SDK to enable customers to add live selling to their mobile apps

#4 Whatnot

Whatnot is a social selling platform based on live auctions. Live stream selling combined with the thrill of real-time bidding turns out to be a winning combination for many buyers and sellers, as is evident from Whatnot’s explosive growth in 2022. Think of it as the Etsy of live selling with an eBay-like bidding interface. Most of their business is on the Whatnot app, which you can download on your smartphone, but they also have a web interface.

Your business can be set up as a seller on Whatnot completely self-service. You can upload your inventory and start going live on your own ‘channel’ inside the marketplace. As you present items one by one, buyers can bid on them with the click of a button. Hot categories on Whatnot right now are vintage clothing, sports cards, Pokémon, and other types of collectibles. The bids are binding, and payments take place immediately.

Cost: 8% of GMV

Use Case: Individual sellers, creators, small businesses

Selling Channels: Whatnot

Pros:

  • Marketplace with completely self-service onboarding
  • Comprehensive training for those who show initial success
  • Whatnot drives audiences to you through their own marketing and discovery interface
  • Bidding system allows you to maximize value of one-off or resale collectibles

Cons:

  • Does not provide a way to launch live shopping on your owned channels, like your website or mobile apps
  • Does not provide a way to go live and sell on social channels

Unique Selling Points:

  • No need to have your own website to go live and start selling
  • If you have an existing following, Whatnot allows you to monetize them with their live selling interface
  • If you are good at live selling, they will provide assistance with inventory to expand your business

#5 TalkShopLive

Founded in 2018, TalkShopLive is a live selling platform that employs the format of talk shows that are also shoppable. Basically, you tune into shows where you listen to a host or multiple hosts talk about topics ranging from politics and social, to cooking, fashion, and beauty. Along the course of these shows, the host pitches you with products that appear on-screen and can be purchased by clicking on the ‘buy now’ button.

Cost: 10% of GMV + $0.30 per product sold

Use Case: Celebrities, creators, brands

Pros:

  • Marketplace model + embed on your website 
  • Sell live on your Shopify website 
  • Recorded shows are shoppable
  • In-stream checkout
  • Discovery on their website

Cons:

  • Does not provide a mobile app or SDK
  • No one-to-one selling 
  • No multicasting to social channels

Unique Selling Points:

  • Created for celebrities to promote their collectibles/books/special items
  • Provides easy embedding into your Shopify website with the Shopify App

#6: Instagram Live Shopping

Instagram Live Shopping allows retailers to stream live sales on one of the most popular social media channels and has a built-in checkout system. You can upload your product catalog into Instagram shops and then showcase these products on your live stream.

Cost: Instagram Checkout charges 5% per sale or 40 cents (whichever is higher)

Use Case: Brands, retailers, creators, celebrities

Selling Channels: Instagram

Pros:

  • One-to-many streaming
  • Can invite others to join live streams as hosts
  • Widely used, familiar shopping platform
  • Top social engagement platform
  • Get the best discovery if you have a huge existing following

Cons:

  • No one-to-one streaming
  • You don’t own your audience and are beholden to their algorithm
  • Only available to Instagram shops 
  • Limited third-party integrations & analytics
  • Complicated checkout and shipping/returns are all yours to manage

Unique Selling Points:

  • If you are a creator with a large following on Instagram, this is the easiest way for you to try live selling
  • No need to have a big business; as long as you have a few products you can directly use their interface to start monetizing your following

#7: Amazon Live

Amazon has been recruiting creators to go live on their platform with a variety of products from across their massive e-commerce catalog. The basic premise is to promote the sales of trending items using creators and celebrities. You can join the Amazon creator program to be able to go live, but there are massive vetting processes, and for you to get scheduled on their app, you need to have a pretty big following and consistently perform well.

Cost: Free

Use Case: Brands, retailers, creators, celebrities

Selling Channels: Amazon

Pros:

  • One-to-many live streaming on the Amazon app and website
  • Familiar & popular purchasing platform
  • In-app checkout
  • Structured onboarding for top creators
  • Shipping and returns are managed by the Amazon store/Amazon themselves
  • Very cool way for top creators and mini celebrities to make money on Amazon

Cons:

  • You cannot use it for your website
  • You cannot go live unless you are approved and given a slot on their schedule
  • You can only sell Amazon products
  • You only earn from a low commission rate and don’t own your audience
  • Creators need to order their own samples (can be returned) 

Unique Selling Points:

  • Get started with literally zero financial commitment
  • If you have a following, bring it—Amazon provides everything else, from products to logistics
  • Largest product catalog in the world
  • Global presence

#8: Firework

Firework is a community engagement-driven live shopping platform for brands, retailers, and publishers. It features shoppable live streams and videos and allows brands to match with creators who can sell their products live and helps recommend items to shoppers. Firework’s live stream shopping feature was built to support shoppers through the customer journey, from discovery and exploration to engagement and conversion. Though their retailer support features are extremely helpful for brands in need of content creation, Firework lacks the integration to live sell on social media.

Cost: Starting at $2,499/month

Use Case: Brands, retailers, creators

Selling Channels: Your website and mobile app

Pros:

  • One-to-one & one-to-many streaming
  • Interactive, shoppable lives & videos
  • Creator Studio matches brands with on-screen talent
  • Shopper recommendations
  • Customizable video templates & drag-drop tools
  • White-glove onboarding
  • Mobile SDK

Cons:

  • Limited selling channels
  • No social media streaming integrations

Unique Selling Points:

  • Creator > brand connection through Creator Studio
  • Short video editing tool allows customers to create short, shoppable videos

#9 Popshop Live

Popshop Live is a simple to use live selling marketplace where anyone can sign up to become a seller in a matter of minutes. They have easy-to-use production tools and a super intuitive interface to allow you to upload your inventory directly or from Shopify into their dashboard. Once you do that, you can go live immediately and start selling items on a live streamed show that is broadcast on the Popshop Live marketplace app and website. Popshop Live focuses on collectibles and oddities at the moment and is a great place to find a community of people interested in Pokemon, Japanese Manga, Disney, and other collectibles.

Cost: 10% of GMV

Use Case: Small businesses, creators, niche stores

Pros:

  • Live selling marketplace with an intuitive interface
  • One-to-many live shopping
  • Multi-host support; you can invite a guest into your live stream
  • Direct sale or auctions allow optimization based on what you are selling
  • Gamification for increasing purchase conversions
  • Support for inventory & logistics within the platform

Cons:

  • Cannot be embedded on customers website
  • No social media streaming integrations
  • No marketing or CRM integrations

Unique Selling Points:

  • Easy to get started for any small business wanting to try live selling
  • Multi-host allows stores to invite creators/celebrities into live events increasing conversions and audience
  • Super gamified interface to maximize conversion rates

#10: giosg

Giosg is a customer-journey focused platform that transforms websites into interactive hubs for shoppable, livestream videos and keeps shoppers engaged with helpful chatbots and pop-ups along the learning and buying process. They primarily focus on recreating a real-life shopping experience through video. They focus on concierge selling technologies where you can sell cars, apartments, and homes and do things like a whole medical consultation online using their technology.

Cost: For medium size businesses at $500/month + % on sales

Use Case: Brands, dealers, agents, professional practitioners

Selling Channels: Website

Pros:

  • One-to-one & one-to-many streaming
  • Simple, highly customizable product
  • 24/7 automated customer messaging
  • User targeting & reporting tools
  • Wide toolset (quizzes, chatbots, pop-ups, etc.) 
  • Interactive, shoppable videos
  • Third-party integrations

Cons:

  • Limited selling channels
  • No social media or app integrations
  • Limited stream management
  • Limited video analytics

Unique Selling Points:

  • The go-to platform if you are trying to use live video streams to replace an in-person interaction
  • Has specific tools for car dealers, real estate agents, and others allowing an expensive sale and multi-stage selling process to be enabled online

Live Selling Success Starts with the Right Sales Platform

Live selling is here, and 2023 is going to be the year when it takes off in a major way in the United States. For your business to take full advantage of this new medium, you need to pick the right platform and make sure you plan for enough time and human resources to make it work for you.

Woman Shop Owner Smiling

Live selling is time-consuming and needs consistency and dedication to succeed. We have tried to create a comprehensive list of all the major players who can help you with your live selling technology requirements, but success will ultimately depend on you.

If you want more information or want to learn more about live selling, just email us. We will be more than happy to get you started on your journey.

 

Related Blogs

The way we shop online is changing fast, and social commerce is at the center of

The holiday season is when consumer spending is at its peak, making it vital for Shopify

Livestream shopping is nothing short of transformative for e-commerce. It merges the best of offline and

Try CommentSold free for 15 days!

Start your 15 day free trial

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Request a call

Please fill out this form to connect with one of our experts & learn more about CommentSold

Hidden
Hidden
Hidden
Hidden
Hidden
Hidden
Hidden
Hidden
Hidden
Hidden
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.