What is 1-to-1 live commerce?

September 2023 | livecommerce What is 1-to-1 live commerce?

1-to-1 live commerce is redefining how people shop in an era where live video is increasingly becoming the standard for remote communication.

1-to-1 live commerce brings the in-store experience online and allows for a more intimate, individualized, and interactive experience than online chat or even in-store shopping. The difference is with 1-to-1 live commerce, customers can communicate with sales staff and ask questions, get personalized advice, view live demonstrations, and even make purchases from the comfort of their own homes. Not surprisingly, this innovative approach to commerce outperforms in-store sales, with conversion rates averaging 20-70% with 2-3 times higher Average Order Value (AOV) compared to online's lowly conversion of less than 3 percent.  

Live commerce involves a brand's most influential and effective selling tool: Salespeople

Who needs 1-to-1 live commerce and why? 

1-to-1 live commerce is a game-changer for retailers and D2C brands across merchandise categories because it involves a merchant's most influential and effective selling tool that's missing in online shopping – their salespeople. It's especially beneficial for merchants selling products that are new to consumers, complex, provide myriad options, require imparting usage or application knowledge, or involve considered purchases.   

How does 1-to-1 live commerce work? 

1-to-1 live commerce works by leveraging video calls arranged using on-demand or virtual appointments to provide personalized shopping experiences for customers. It begins by qualifying customer interest online by obtaining answers to a few relevant questions before connecting with a sales agent, so the salesperson can be prepared to make the customer experience as productive as possible. When the video call begins, salespeople can demonstrate products, answer questions, and present recommended items based on the customer's needs and preferences. The objective is to build customer confidence, and when customer confidence increases, so does sales conversion. 

Live commerce outperforms in-store sales: conversion rates average 20-70% with 2-3 times higher AOV

Why does 1-to-1 live commerce outperform in-store sales? 

Some merchants may find this surprising, but 1-to-1 live commerce outperforms in-store sales for several reasons. Firstly, it’s more efficient because requiring customers to complete a brief pre-call 

questionnaire allows merchants to better qualify customer interest before the sales process begins, so customers can be matched with an appropriate salesperson. Customers won’t ever have to wait and then hear "That's not my department" again.  By qualifying interest in advance, salespeople can then begin each call with recommendations at the ready that meet each customer's individual needs and preferences, making more productive use of both the salesperson's and the customer's time. Providing tailored recommendations also leads to higher conversion rates, especially when coupled with the use of AI that turns preferences into precisely matched product recommendations. Think of 1-to-1 live commerce offering the best of an exceptional in-store experience (less the store, the coffee bar, and valet parking). 


Building customer trust and purchase confidence through 1-to-1 live commerce 

One of the key advantages of 1-to-1 live commerce is its ability to build customer trust and purchase confidence. At its core, virtual interaction between customers and salespeople is an instrument that builds a foundation for loyalty. Why? Because it develops personal, trusted relationships with customers that were previously unheard of in online shopping. Face-to-face interaction inspires a conversation, allowing salespeople to engage and respond to customers based on their verbal and non-verbal expressions. This builds better connections.  Greater trust. And opportunities to obtain further insight that creates a deeper understanding of customers' needs and preferences so salespeople can make recommendations that customers welcomely embrace. 

 The format is ideal for products that are considered purchases

The difference between 1-to-1 live commerce and livestream shopping 

1-to-1 live commerce differs from livestream shopping based on the level of personalization and interactivity. While livestream shopping typically involves a host showcasing products to a larger audience, 1-to-1 live commerce focuses on individual customers and their specific needs. By engaging in individual conversations, providing tailored recommendations and addressing personalized questions, sales experts can better understand and qualify customer interest than is possible through livestream shopping,  Livestream shopping is akin to hoping one size fits all, which may be applicable when a customer is seeking a specific product that is well understood, is purchased as a standalone item, and has limited variations or options, but is less effective for products where any of these factors are to the contrary. 


Integrating 1-to-1 live commerce with existing systems 

The key to successful 1-to-1 live commerce is making it part and parcel of your retail systems so that it's not only an integral part of your e-commerce experience, but your entire customer experience. It’s essential to keep everything accessible from one screen. This critical step prevents subjecting your customers to any unnecessary clunkiness, delay, or disruption caused by switching between applications (e.g. by using separate appointment scheduling and video calling applications).  Your solution should go from appointment to payment and follow-up, freely interacting and synchronizing data with your inventory, catalog, e-commerce, and payment systems. Using purpose-built APIs and customizable CSS to adopt the look and feel of your brand, integrating 1-to-1 live commerce with your existing retail technology stack has never been easier. In fact, with Parla, online merchants can get started immediately with booking virtual appointments and video calls or scheduling in-store visits – by inserting just one line of code into their website. When you’re ready to unlock the full potential of 1-to-1 live commerce, you can use enterprise-ready APIs to connect to all your existing systems to deliver a complete in-store experience online. 



With 1-to-1 live commerce, customers can enjoy personalized shopping experiences like never before. By scheduling virtual or in-store appointments, customers can engage in conversations with sales experts, receive tailored recommendations that cater to their specific needs and preferences and make informed decisions before buying. This level of individual attention not only helps to qualify customer interest but also increases the likelihood of a purchase. This personalized approach enhances customer satisfaction, builds trust, and ultimately leads to increased sales that outperform in-store performance based on sales conversion and AOV. 




Written By: Parla