How Live Streaming Changes Shopping Decisions in E-commerce: A Study of Live Streaming Commerce
Live Streaming Commerce (LSC) is proliferating in China and gaining traction worldwide. LSC is an e-commerce service where sellers communicate with consumers through live streaming while consumers can place orders within the same system. Despite the significant involvement of consumers in LSC, it has not been systematically analyzed how consumers make shopping decisions when engaging with LSC. In this paper, we conduct a mixed-methods study, consisting of surveys ( N 1 = 240) and follow-up interviews ( N 2 = 16) with LSC consumers. We focus on two features of LSC, i.e., the communication between merchants and consumers through live streaming and the participation of streamers, and aim to understand how these changes influence consumers’ decision-making process in LSC. We find that LSC enables merchants to exchange information with consumers based on their needs and provide additional customer services. Because of the appropriate information about the products they acquire and the enjoyable shopping atmosphere, consumers are willing to purchase products in LSC. As the intermediaries between merchants and consumers, streamers utilize their independent identity from merchants to enhance consumers’ awareness of shopping and persuade their online shopping decisions. Moreover, we consider the opportunities and challenges of current LSC services and provide implications for LSC services and the research community regarding the development of LSC.