Live shopping is the newest digital trend that’s redefining what it means to shop online. With huge brand names like Louis Vuitton, Samsung and Bloomingdale’s jumping on the bandwagon, it seems that live shopping is more than just a fad. Using one of these 11 live shopping apps, even small and local e-commerce businesses can start selling with live videos. This guide will help you pick the best live shopping app for your brand.
for your customers with Restream.
What is a live shopping app?
Live shopping combines e-commerce and live video, letting you sell products directly on a live stream or add live videos to your e-commerce site. You can use real-time engagement and interactions during a live video to drive sales for your e-commerce store. By offering exclusive deals or announcing new products during the live stream, you can create unforgettable moments with your audience.
To make shoppable live videos, you need the help of a live shopping app. There are generally two types of live shopping experiences you can offer customers:
- One-to-many live shopping: A brand or influencer hosts a live online event that’s open to the public to promote and sell products.
- One-to-one live shopping: A single sales representative has a video call with one customer to provide personalized advice or product demonstrations.
One-to-many live shopping incorporates social engagement and encourages viewers to talk with the host and each other via a live chat. One-to-one live shopping is more focused on providing excellent customer service. Some live shopping apps are built solely for one-to-many live shopping events, some are for one-to-one experiences, and some apps can do both.
We’re focusing primarily on one-to-many live shopping. All of the apps included in our list are one-to-many services, although some offer one-to-one live shopping features as well.
Why should you use a live shopping app?
Live commerce sales have countless benefits for your brand, including:
- Join a booming market: The live streaming shopping market reached $20 billion in 2022 and is set to reach more than $55 billion by 2026. E-commerce streaming is on the verge of taking off and now is the perfect time for your brand to utilize a live shopping app.
- Increased sales and conversions: Live shoppers are 40% less likely to return products than traditional online shoppers, helping boost overall sales. Consumers are less likely to return a product when they have more information about it upfront, and live shopping events can provide those details.
- Boost your brand awareness: Live shopping events provide your brand with another channel to connect with your community. Instead of paying for ads, you can make shoppable videos that speak directly to your customers.
- Create a better buying experience: Using a live shopping app personalizes the buying experience for customers and helps them make better purchasing decisions. Sixty percent of customers who have tried live stream shopping say it improved their shopping experience.
Live shopping app features to consider
Live shopping apps come in many shapes and sizes — not all of them will suit your needs. The most popular live shopping apps on the market generally include the following features:
- Importing products via an e-commerce app like Shopify
- Live chat and real-time engagement features
- Handling at least 50 concurrent viewers at one time
- Embedding live shopping broadcasts on branded websites and in apps
- Multistreaming to several platforms at the same time
- Scheduling live shopping events in advance
- Built-in payment function or QR code scanning to direct customers to your website
Some live commerce apps create an all-in-one experience for brands. All you have to do is sign up and the app will provide an influencer to host shows with your products as well as handle transactions and product shipping. Other live shopping apps grant API or SDK access so you can customize the experience to your brand’s needs.
There are live shopping apps to suit creators, small niche brands and global brands. When you figure out why your brand needs a live shopping experience, you can make a better decision about which app to use.
11 best live shopping apps
Some live shopping apps are only available on mobile, some let you white label their video players for embedding on your website, and others are built into popular social media platforms. We chose 11 live shopping apps that can cater to a wide range of content creators and brands.
1. Instagram Live Shopping
With 2 billion active users, Instagram is one of the world’s most popular social media networks. Brands can run ads and create shoppable posts and videos on Instagram, as well host live stream shopping events. You can import your product links and photos to showcase during the stream. Instagram could be the ideal place to start streaming your products if you already have a decent following on the platform — or you can team up with an influencer who has an existing community on Instagram.
A couple of downsides to streaming on Instagram are that most users have to stream from the mobile app, as the desktop streaming studio, Instagram Live Producer, is not currently available to most accounts. Also, Meta charges a selling fee on all shipments made in the app and purchases take place within Instagram, meaning customers don’t go to your website.
- In-app purchases
- Import up to 30 product photos
- Live stream analytics via Facebook Business Page
- Live Rooms feature to invite co-hosts
- Live video effects and filters
- Live chat
- Upload pre-recorded videos and photos
- Download the recording of your live stream when it ends to repost later
- Free to use
- Easy to collaborate with content creators
- Followers get a notification when you’re live
- Requires an Instagram business account
- You can post the replay after downloading but it won’t display comments or engagements
- Setting up a shop: Free
- Selling cost: 5% per shipment; flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less
- Note: Meta has waived selling costs for all shipments placed through June 2023
2. YouTube Live
YouTube started rolling out live shopping features for eligible video creators in 2022. If you have more than 1,000 subscribers and are based in a country or region where the YouTube Partner Program operates, you can create a store for your YouTube channel and promote your products on your live videos using Shopify.
If you host a live shopping event on YouTube, you can tag products to your live stream, pin products in the live chat, add products to end screens or put products on your product “shelf.” Unlike Instagram Live, YouTube doesn’t handle transactions for purchased products, so you still have to manage that yourself. YouTube doesn’t have many of the managed service features that other shopping apps on this list have, but it does have 2.2 billion users worldwide. It’s highly likely that your target audience is already using YouTube, or at least familiar with it.
- Live chat and engagement features
- Shopify integration
- Channel store
- Access to a wide audience
- Viewers can watch on mobile or desktop
- Free to use
- Build on existing YouTube audience
- You need 1,000 channel subscribers to promote your products (and 20,000 to promote another brand’s products)
- No multistreaming
Restream is a live streaming studio that you can launch directly from your web browser. With Restream live shopping, you can import products to your live stream from your e-commerce store, and display links to your products as a QR code on-stream. Viewers simply scan the code and make their purchase on your site, without leaving the live shopping event.
Going live with Restream also allows you to broadcast on multiple social media platforms simultaneously, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and more. You can customize your broadcast with branded assets like backgrounds, captions and logos, and you can add remote guests and co-hosts to your stream. You can also record and edit a live shopping video, upload it to Restream, then set it to broadcast live on your preferred channels — so you can focus on moderating the chat during the live event.
- Import your store from Shopify, Amazon, WooCommerce, Etsy and more — with new store integrations being added all the time
- QR code product pop-ups with flash sales, auctions and pre-orders functions
- Add your custom branding with captions, logos, backgrounds and overlays
- Multi-seat accounts so you and your producer can log into the same Restream account
- Upload and stream pre-recorded live shopping videos
- Broadcast your live shopping event to your website
- Multistreaming to several channels from one web browser
- Add an extra camera as another video source for multiple camera angles
- Invite remote guests and co-hosts to your shopping event
- No app or software download required
- Viewers can watch on their preferred social platform or your website
- Live shopping feature drives traffic to your e-commerce store
- Viewers don’t have to leave the stream to shop products
- Stream is fully customizable
- Works with any e-commerce website that has a checkout function
- No product shipping and handling
- Basic: Free
- Standard: $19 per month
- Professional: $49 per month
- Premium: $99 per month
4. Amazon Live
If you already have a store on Amazon, you can promote it with live shopping events on Amazon Live. You can also join the influencer program and promote other stores’ products with live stream shopping. You can only add products to your stream that appear on Amazon — but that’s not a problem if you already have an Amazon store. Another benefit to streaming on Amazon over social media networks is that users on Amazon are primed to purchase. They’re not looking for entertainment like they are on YouTube or Instagram.
One downside to using Amazon Live as your live shopping app is that you can’t generate any traffic for your own website, if you have one. It’s against Amazon’s policies to link away from Amazon during your live stream.
- Stream from desktop or mobile app
- Add products to the carousel
- Pay to boost your live stream to reach more customers
- Live chat
- Stream appears on the Amazon Live page while you’re live
- Level-up program offers benefits to streamers
- Free to use
- For brands and influencers
- Huge product catalog
- Ideal if you already have an Amazon store
- Earn affiliate commissions on products sold through your influencer storefront
- Live Creator App only available on iOS
- Only available to the U.S. marketplace
- Can’t embed a live shopping event on your website
ShopShops is a Chinese live streaming app that has started entering Western markets. It’s geared toward social influencers and creators who want to promote their favorite brands and products. The app features products from designer brands as well as vintage and handcrafted items. Brands and influencers can both join the app and ShopShops will pair them up, so brands don’t have to worry about supplying their own live show host. ShopShops focuses on creating fun live shopping experiences that are driven by dynamic hosts and exclusive access to global brands.
The app is free for creators to use but all sales are subject to ShopShops’ fees and commissions, which average about 20%. There is also currently a waiting list to join the app as a seller.
- Engagement features like giveaways and games
- Link to social media accounts
- Training for sellers
- Helps viewers discover new brands
- Live chat and real-time comments
- Worldwide access
- Suited for brands, influencers and makers
- Brands can partner with influencers via the app
- Mobile app only
- Sellers and brands pay for and handle shipping
- Free to use
- ShopShops app takes fees and commissions
NTWRK is a live shopping app more suited to niche brands with cult followings. It’s also more similar to a social media platform than other live shopping apps on this list. NTWRK specializes in exclusive product drops, festivals and other live events. The app appeals to customers looking for scarce or highly coveted products that tend to be pricier.
High-quality artists and influencers have to apply to join the NTWRK marketplace. You’ll be vetted first before you can start selling your products on the app. NTWRK also hosts daily live streams featuring trending brands on the app and well-known figures in pop culture. Getting mentioned in these short streams can be a huge boost for a seller on NTWRK.
- Host virtual festivals
- NFT sales
- Chance to be featured by the app
- Apply for access
- Viewers shop and purchase products in the app
- Market for exclusive, high-ticket items
- Easy to create hype for your brand or products
- Global presence
- NTWRK handles shipping
- Mobile app only
- Unable to share to other platforms
- Must contact NTWRK for pricing
- Contact sales
Firework lets companies create on-demand shoppable videos as well as live shopping events. There’s a library of video templates and drag-and-drop editing tools included in the app as well. You can embed live streams on your website as well as simulcast to social media platforms. Products are added directly to the stream and Firework supports in-video checkout.
If you’re simply looking for shoppable video creation, Firework is free to use. However, if you want to add live streaming to your plan, the price jumps up significantly. Signing up with one of Firework’s paid plans does get you media amplification services and their team will be pretty hands-on with helping you get it set up — but you have to decide if the high price tag is worth it.
- Shoppable on-demand video in Story format
- Video email embedding
- In-video checkout for live streams
- Simulcasting to social media
- Creation cloud for on-demand videos
- Embed live streams on your website
- 100,000 live streaming minutes per month with paid plan
- Custom demo with consultation from commerce experts
- The lowest tier is $2,499 per month
- Shipping and handling of products is not included
- Starter: $2,499 per month
- Plus: $4,999 per month
- Enterprise: Contact sales
Channelize is a live shopping solution that integrates with your website and existing e-commerce apps such as Shopify or WooCommerce. You can also use Channelize’s API and webhooks to integrate live shopping into your existing apps and tailor the user interface to your needs. You can get started with Channelize for free but there are limitations and you may have to pay extra for feature add-ons.
With Channelize, you can broadcast your live streams to multiple social media platforms, as well as embed them on your website. Unlike social apps like NTWRK, Channelize doesn’t have its own shopping app that hosts streams and products. Shoppers therefore don’t need a Channelize account to watch your live shopping streams.
- Add-to-cart function without leaving live stream
- Live chat and reactions for viewers
- Mini player to check product features without leaving the stream
- Product spotlight and pinned messages in the live video
- Custom RTMP streaming for use with encoders
- Real-time analytics
- Shopping cart integration
- Easy to use
- Free plan available
- Customizable and white label available
- Multistreaming only available with top two tiers starting at $99 per month
- Free plan only allows four 20-minute events per month, with a 50-concurrent-viewer limit
- Free: $0 per month
- Basic: $49 per month
- Standard: $99 per month
- Custom: Contact sales
With the Smartzer live shopping app, you can add clickable pop-ups and shopping carts, which the app calls “interactive hotspots.” These pop-ups allow users to add items to and view their shopping carts without leaving the stream. Smartzer integrates with major e-commerce platforms so you easily import your products.
The Smartzer player lets you embed your live videos on your website or broadcast to a live streaming platform with a stream key and RTMP ID. You can also generate a link to the stream to drop into your Instagram Story. Features and pricing vary for Smartzer depending on which integration you're using (Shopify, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Magneto, Big Commerce, WooCommerce).
- Unlimited users and videos
- Picture-in-picture embedding
- Direct add-to-cart
- Live shopping recording
- Live stream data and analytics
- Customized player
- Multi currency and language support
- Also includes shoppable on-demand videos
- Re-use live shopping videos
- Sleek interface
- Pricing plans include streaming limit and charge extra when it’s exceeded
- Only Shopify pricing is available and you have to contact sales for other e-commerce apps
- Shopify app: From $299 per month
- Integrations with other e-commerce apps: Contact sales
Bambuser is a live shopping platform that supports one-to-many and one-to-one live streaming. You can embed shoppable live streams and pre-recorded videos on your website as well as social media platforms. Products are highlighted throughout the show and customers can simply tap or click to add them to their carts. The Bambuser video player works on mobile as well as desktop.
If you don’t want to embed the stream on your site, you can create channels using the Bambuser dashboard. Bambuser offers live stream metrics and reporting and gives you full control over your customer and transaction data as well.
- Live chat during stream
- Split screen and video editing
- Pre-recorded shoppable videos
- Floating video player widget for website
- E-commerce integrations
- Multistreaming to social media platforms
- Live captions/subtitles
- Stream in high definition
- White label video player
- Developer tools for integrating with your app and website
- Client manager (not included with the basic plan)
- No audience targeting features
- Live chat not included with Lite plan
- You have to contact sales for pricing
- Prices are not listed on the Bambuser site
- Previous reports stated $599 for the Lite (most basic) plan
Streams.live is similar to Bambuser, offering live shopping sessions on the Streams.live app and website, as well as the ability to embed in your own app or website. It also has a live chat feature, both live and pre-recorded shoppable video, and allows you to invite video guests to your live shopping broadcasts. Streams.live stands out from other live shopping apps because it lets you promote and sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in your streams.
You can also import your products from an e-commerce app such as Shopify or WooCommerce and then promote them in-stream with a “buy now” button. Streams.live also lets you organize your shopping events into channels if you have more than one category of products.
- NFTs selling offered via Polygon
- AI e-commerce assistant to moderate live chat
- Multicast to several platforms at once
- Live channels
- API access
- Customizable embed for your website
- Customer and viewing analytics
- Pre-recorded videos
- Allows NFT sales
- Free plan available
- Questions feature (in addition to live chat)
- Free plan only allows five products and 60 streaming minutes per month, with no option to stream on your own website
- Must pay $75 minimum per month to stream on more than one channel
- Free: $0 per month
- Starter: $75 per month
- Pro: $299 per month
- Enterprise: Contact sales
There’s never been a better time to get into live shopping. If you want to create engaging live experiences that connect with your customers in new ways — and boost sales in the process — then start doing live shoppable videos. No matter the size or niche of your store, you can find an app that helps you deliver professional, high-quality live shopping experiences.
Restream makes going live and selling to your customers easy. It’s free to broadcast live shopping events featuring your products and you can stream on more than one channel at a time. Simply add links to your products in your Restream account and start streaming on your favorite social channels. Turn your viewers into buyers, without all the hassle.