Sell It Differently.

Sell It Differently.

The latest online shopping craze has a unique twist. Instead of sitting in front of a web browser or flipping through items on a smartphone, millions of Chinese consumers are obsessed with live-stream shopping.

ShopShops employs real people to go into real stores, like a T.J. Maxx in New York City, and stream their visit to as many as 10,000 people live watching from China. These shopping trips are some what of a cross between live home shopping network and game show, where buyers race to get great deals on items that are unavailable in China or often counterfeit.

Buyers can interact with the hosts, asking them questions or making requests to hold up items or model them at a “selfie” distance to see what they might look like in person. The company streams about 220 live shows each month, with an average of $6,000 in sales per session.

ShopShops has employees in multiple cities throughout the U.S., Dubai and London. Easily generating $1.2 to $1.5 million per month, this is a brilliant example of selling it differently.

Skin cream, perfume, popular items and vintage products all sell quickly and buyers often stay for the entire duration of the live streams, unable to resist the fear of missing out. What might the live-streaming shopper or her assistants find next?

One jewelry store owner in Manhattan paid attention to this interesting trend when a live-stream shopper came into his store. Now he opens early one Saturday and one Sunday per month, so he can live-stream at 9pm local-time in China. In three hours, the jewelry store does more than 10% of their sales for the entire month.

There’s nothing new under the sun, but combining popular elements from existing media channels or techniques can often produce tremendous results.

Wrap your SUV and take a tent to every live event in your town. If you don’t schedule an extra 50 patients this year from those efforts, I’ll eat my shorts.

Find a local high-quality restaurant or jewelry store that will do an endorsed mailing to their house list, promoting your office and a special offer to their customers if you’ll do the same for them. Often you only need to place a small coupon or offer in your new patient welcome bag.

There’s nothing new about live-streaming, personal shoppers or exclusivity and scarcity, but a very smart company has combined them and is quietly churning $15-20 million per year in online sales. They aren’t even selling their own products. They are simply selling them differently.

Worked at Burleson Orthodontics. Attended University of Missouri–Kansas City. Lives in Kansas City, Missouri.