By now, we’ve all heard of Twitch and live streaming—but did you know that Amazon has now branched out into live streaming? Amazon Live is Amazon’s live stream shopping platform, where customers can watch influencers and brands talk about products that they can then buy on Amazon.
If the Amazon Live Stream shopping platform sounds like something that you, as an E-commerce brand, would like to take advantage of, you can! Setting up Amazon Live is not complicated; plus, live streaming is great for sales and brand awareness. So, read on for the complete guide of how to take advantage of Amazon Live.
What is Amazon Live?
Live streaming has really taken off in the last few years, and with companies like Instagram looking into live-streaming shopping, it’s not a surprise to see Amazon join the live stream shopping trend.
Amazon Live is basically an online shopping channel, with products being touted by a mixture of brands and influencers. It’s not identical to QVC through—Amazon Live is a fully interactive platform, featuring a live chat so that customers can ask questions while a display of products are shown beneath streams that viewers can click on to make purchases.
Being tied to such a retail giant, Amazon Live promises to be a safe opportunity to try out live streaming, if you haven’t already. Not only is it safe, but it’s easy to manage the whole thing through the Amazon Live Creator app.
How Do You Use Amazon Live?
Before you download the app and jump straight into streaming on Amazon Live, you need to know how to use it. Fortunately, the process is not too complicated:
As an E-commerce brand, you are already well on your way to being eligible to stream on Amazon Live (you’re a Professional Seller or a Vendor with an Amazon Store). However, there are a few other requirements before you can download the Amazon Live Creator app:
- You have to be in the US: Amazon Live has not yet been rolled out to international markets.
- You need an iPhone or iPad: The Amazon Live Creator app is only available for Apple devices and is optimized for the iOS.
- You need good wifi (at least 5 mbps) so that you won’t have problems streaming.
- Your brands must be registered on the Amazon Brand Registry.
Fortunately, once you've downloaded the Amazon Live Creator App, setting up is relatively simple.
Before you start streaming, there are a few other things you need to consider to make sure you produce good quality Amazon Live stream content...
A Good Camera
You have to stream through the Amazon Live Creator App, but that doesn’t mean you have to film with your iPhone or iPad camera. Instead, you should stream through a proper camera (or even several cameras) using an encoder. Encoding will also help you maintain the quality of your stream and prevent lagging. Bad quality livestreaming will put customers off, making your brand look unprofessional and affecting your success on Amazon Live—so just don’t do it! This isn’t 100% necessary to start live streaming, but it definitely enhances the quality!
What Products To Advertise
For each stream, Amazon allows you to create a unique product carousel aka a selection of products that is displayed under the stream for viewers to click. When you’re streaming, you can also “highlight” a particular product in the product carousel.
Doing a Practice Run
The Amazon Live Creator app has a Practice Mode in which you can practice streaming before streaming live to your customers. This is a great way to check the quality of your video, audio, and internet connection.
As customers can ask questions live during streaming (and even after), you need to come up with a way of continuing to stream while answering these questions. The best way to do this is to have more than one person doing the stream: one person streaming, the other dealing with questions in the chat.
Streaming for 30 Minutes
By Amazon’s own recommendation, you should stream for at least 30 minutes each time when streaming on Amazon Live. Streaming for a decent length of time is necessary to be successful on Amazon Live (as discussed below).
A Good Title
As always, SEO is important, so make sure you choose a title for your stream that has optimized keywords. In addition, you should have a unique, high-quality thumbnail for each stream.
You can find your Amazon Live metrics in the “channel analytics dashboard” on the homepage of the Amazon Live Creator app. Here you can check on your sales, click-through-rates and muted and unmuted views.
Amazon Live Levels
The most crucial part of how to use Amazon Live is the level system: Amazon Live has three levels—Rising Star, Insider, and A-Level—and gives increasing benefits and reach as you move up through the levels (“level up”).
Rising Star is the basic level that you are assigned when you begin streaming with the Amazon Live Creator App. Rising Star gives you a few basic benefits:
- Your livestreams appear on the Amazon Live page (amazon.com/live)—both in your product categories and the “Live Now” sections.
- You can share links to your livestreams.
- Your Amazon followers (customers can now follow you via Amazon Follow) will be automatically notified when you’re streaming.
Insider is the next level up from Rising Star and comes with the added benefit of top of the page placement on the Amazon Live page.
A-list is where you really want to be at, the top level, which comes with the most benefits:
- A place on the Amazon.com home page.
- Special access to Amazon Live events and opportunities.
- Priority support from the Amazon Live Creator Team.
How Do You Level Up With Amazon Live?
So how do you get on to the A-List? You have to apply!
An “Apply” button will appear on the homepage of the Amazon Live Creator app when you reach a certain number of minutes streamed and sales/unit sold. These metrics, as well as your current level, and how close you are to the next level can be found in the app. However, sales/units sold and minutes streamed aren’t the only parameters for moving up a level:
Insider Review Guidelines
Some of the metrics that Amazon assesses for moving up to Insider are:
- Stream duration of at least 20+ minutes, but preferably 60+
- Interaction with your viewers via chat or through the stream
- Having a unique, high-quality thumbnail for your videos
- Streams that viewers watch for longer periods of time
- Live, not pre-recorded, content
- High-quality video
- Responsiveness to reviews of previous streams
Most of these points are issues that should be covered by following the tips described above on how to get started streaming on Amazon Live (and in Amazon’s own Best Practice Guide).
A-List Review Guidelines
For A-List, Amazon is looking for even higher quality content. This not only means that the criteria needed for the Insider ranking (i.e. video quality and engagement) need to be even better, but there are also some specific things that Amazon is looking for in A-List candidates to prove that they are brand who understands the role of livestreaming in E-commerce. These criteria include:
- Streaming for more than an hour
- A streaming schedule (i.e. streaming at the same time and day each week)
- Consistent branding
- Using all of Amazon Live’s features (e.g. promo codes, the product carousel) and educating your viewers on how to use features on their end (e.g. chat and Amazon Follow)
- Promoting your stream on social media
- A high number of Amazon followers
For a full list of prerequisites for leveling up, see Amazon’s Live Review Guidelines.
If Your Application is Declined
If your application to move up a level is declined, you will need to wait 30 days, and make sure you’ve achieved the minimum prerequisites for the next level before applying again.
How to Take Advantage of Amazon Live: Strategies for Amazon Live
Once you’ve got the hang of how to use Amazon Live and the Amazon Live Creator app, what you need to know is how to take advantage of the Amazon Live streaming platform to grow your brand. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can take advantage of the platform (some of which will also help you get on the A-List)...
Amazon Influencer Program
Video is the ideal medium for influencer marketing, so it’s no surprise that Amazon has created the Amazon Live Influencer Program (which is separate from Amazon Associates). Amazon Influencers get their own storefront and exclusive vanity URLs to showcase products they endorse.
This means this is the time to get into influencer marketing if you haven’t already done so, even if it’s just to find an engaging host for your livestreams.
Doing demonstrations of your products is one of the best ways to showcase them and to convince customers that your products are good value for money. Plus the livestream format allows you to showcase products in more detail and more realistically than you could in an ad. (And customers can ask you questions!)
Deals are always a good way of increasing sales, and, fortunately, Amazon gives you the option of offering a Promo Code for use during your livestream. These one time special offers, similar to the old telemarketing trick “Call now and receive 50% off...”, will boost your sales as customers rush to take advantage of the deal.
Launching a new product? Why not launch it in an Amazon Live stream? Launching a product in an Amazon live stream is a great way to generate hype and allows you to immediately answer any questions customers might have about it.
Amazon Live is the perfect platform for content marketing, which is already a popular use of the platform (especially when used with influencers). Content marketing is an option you should consider because it is great for driving both sales and brand awareness.
Amazon’s Live’s interactive platform makes it ideal for brand awareness, as customers can interact directly with your brand (like on social media) and they can buy your products at the same time. Uses of Amazon Live streaming for brand awareness include:
- Telling your brand story: Storytelling is a highly effective form of content marketing and sharing the story behind your business can get customers emotionally invested in your brand.
- Q & A: Make the most of the live chat and let customers ask questions about you and your products.
You can increase the number of potential customers who see your livestream by paying to boost your stream. This can only be done by logging into the Amazon Live Creator app using your Seller account (as opposed to your Vendor account).
Using Amazon Live With Other Platforms
Another way of increasing your views (and increasing your likelihood of getting into the A-list program) is to advertise your streams on your social media pages. You can even stream on multiple platforms by using a Custom RTMP platform such as Restream.
Amazon Live is a great opportunity for E-commerce brands who want to increase their sales and brand awareness. Amazon live streaming is easy to set up (it can all be done via an app!) and promises to be a great way of attracting new customers and extra sales. Not to mention, with the rising importance of livestreaming, Amazon’s live streaming platform is certainly not something we’d want to miss out on!