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What Should You Sell Live?


Instagram has popularized aesthetic shopping. Color coding, photo editing and formatting have become so commonplace in e-commerce it’s easy for low-quality products to look much better in pictures than they do in real life. Live shopping eliminates this risk for the buyer.  

If you’re a seller, selling live is a great way to grow your e-commerce strategy and scale your retail business. Since this is sort of our wheelhouse, we’ve put together a list of products that do well live. You’d be surprised what can sell and make it big through social retail.  

Here are our top five picks for our favorite product categories to sell live! 


U.S demand for apparel is expected to reach $100 billion by 2023, with annual growth of about 1.7%. E-commerce clothing shops such as Shein, Romwe, and Zaful have built a large customer base mainly through social shopping. Shein briefly became the #1 downloaded app in the US in May – surpassing Amazon. Thousands of orders are placed on these sites every day, many funneled through their social media and social retail campaigns. Women’s clothing in particular as well as infant wear are the fastest growing in the apparel market.  

Selling during a live shopping show provides a fresh way to show off a piece of clothing’s effectiveness; the stretch and flow of the material are front-and-center with a live show. Sellers can showcase the clothing in front of a stylized set, in-store, or even on location. Customers watching the live shopping stream can also ask any questions about the product directly to the shop owner or influencer. (photos for each below) 

  1. Debut a summer collection live at the beach! 
  1. Go casual and more friendly with the seller front and center with a garment rack holding the products. 
  1. Let an influencer do the hard work with the Box Office program at LiveShelf!  


Makeup is the perfect product for social shopping. Makeup routines are the backbone of Instagram viral videos and all over everyone’s explore page.  

Beauty gurus have skyrocketed to the top of YouTube and even produce their own products now. Customers love seeing an experienced artist use palettes in unique and stunning ways as well as show off day to day looks. According to Forbes, Clinique, La Mer and Bobbi Brown Cosmetics increased brand sales by 60% over its first quarter due in part to consumer engagement on livestreaming.  


This is one of the easiest products to show off live! How jewelry moves in the light and contrasts with different skin tones is critical to getting more sales. Visualization is key. Show off that shine, glitz and glamour. With live shows, it’s easy to see if jewelry is high-quality or not. It’s not surprising product returns decrease by almost 50% if ordered during a livestream.  

Skincare and body products 

Which acne cream is perfect for a customer’s particular skin type? How do they know if a moisturizer might make them break out? What if they have oily skin? Or dry skin? That foundation looks nice in the picture but does it cause peeling?  

With so many options out there, how is a customer supposed to know which product is right for them? There’s an overwhelming amount of choice in the e-commerce world but with traditional social shopping it can be hard to find the perfect purchase.  

Having a live host break down what moisturizer they use and how it feels while passively encouraging sales via a built-in shopping cart creates an elevated level of consumer trust and brand loyalty. 

Specific questions can be asked by customers and answered immediately:  

  • What do you have that’s good for dry skin?  
  • I have black spots on my nose, do you have anything that could help with that? 
  • Does that product make you break out ever?  

Live shopping gives power back to the buyer while providing sellers with unique insights into buyer behaviors and needs.

Think of it as a focus group every time you’re live! 

Pens, phone cases, and other accessories  

Social shopping accessories is risky for a customer because it’s nearly impossible to know what they’re actually getting when they purchase through Instagram. Many customers are unwilling to spend money on seemingly cute online accessories unless someone they know has already bought from the same store.  

Sites like LiveShelf allow customers to see exactly what they’re getting before clicking purchase. Most product return reasons vanish too – poor quality, color not as shown in photo, not good fit. In fact – product returns decrease by 50% if bought while live shopping.  

Only the best products will do well on a live show – so if you’re a brand that lives and dies by its product quality, live shopping is a no-brainer. Pure, unedited video with a built-in shopping cart. No offsite links. No worrying about conversion. With live shopping, customers see what everything looks like in real lighting on an actual, moving human being – you can’t fake that. 

Live shopping is about as close to real life as social retail can get.  

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