Will livestream shopping pick up steam in the US? Will social media remain paramount for brands?

And who will be the next class of digital creators? Firework shares what lies ahead for ecommerce

Video Commerce Leader Firework Releases Key Predictions for 2023

NEW YORK, Dec. 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Video commerce leader Firework today released its top predictions for 2023 to help brands, retailers, and publishers navigate the rapidly changing world of digital engagement and ecommerce.

Coming off a year of exceptional momentum and growth including a $150 million Series B financing round, a number of innovative product solution launches, and new partnerships with leading retailers such as Walmart Connect and The Fresh Market, the Firework team has drawn upon its deep knowledge of the industry to deliver pivotal insights for the year ahead.

Firework's predictions for 2023 include:

  1. Store associates will be the new Creator class. Many brands may not realize it, but they already have their biggest and best influencers in-house. By putting power into the hands of on-the-ground store associates to livestream and create content, retailers will not only foster a new sense of authenticity, they'll also be able to further blur the line between IRL in-store events and digital ones. Store associates are the ones who often know the product best, and by bringing real-life experiences and connections to online and livestream shopping, retailers will be able to easily enhance shopping experiences. Meanwhile, retail associates can share their brands and passions with viewers, build community, and bring a sense of urgency to outreach through in-the-moment offers.
    –  Jerry Luk, Co-Founder and President
  2. Power will return to brands, allowing them to reshape their relationship with their customers. The deprecation of the third-party cookie might seem daunting but we believe it will shift the balance of power back into the hands of brands. In 2023, we'll see that successful brands will be those that establish deeper relationships with their customers in their own channels - doubling down on user experience, customer engagement and community building. A bonus being first-party data collection and a much more efficient customer acquisition cost. In 2023 brands will create community-based experiences on their own digital channels, like exclusive livestream drops and members-only shopping events. The death of the third-party cookie has cut off one of marketers' most important sources of customer data and insights. However, with new possibilities emerging for the creation of dynamic experiences anywhere on the open web, collecting first-party data — and enhancing customer loyalty — have become easier propositions than they were even just a few years ago.
    – Drew Cashmore, Head of Global Marketing 
  3. More Americans will make their first livestream shopping purchase. While still dwarfed by the mammoth $497 billion Chinese livestream shopping market, the US' livestream shopping trajectory is notching ever upwards. Coresight Research expects the livestream shopping market to triple in the next few years, jumping from $20 billion now to $57 billion by 2025. Additionally, just as we saw online shopping expand dramatically at the outset of the pandemic, we expect to see the shopper demographic for livestream shopping begin to widen as well, propelled by Gen Z and Millennial shoppers. This shift is driven by a growing realization that by simply having video on site – be it live or short – brands get an incredible uplift in engagement, conversion and repeat visits.
    – Jeff Lucas, Chief Revenue Officer
  4. Social networks no longer represent safe havens, and brands will cut spending. Brands are beginning to seriously question their association with large social sites for multiple reasons and we're already seeing major advertisers reduce their spends. What's abundantly clear is that the cost of building your audience outside of your owned environments is becoming too much for most companies. Facing uncertain economic futures, brands are evaluating their spend on nearly all fronts, and will be more inclined to invest and innovate on their owned channels—where they control the message and the data.
    – Vincent Yang, Co-Founder and CEO
  5. Retailers, brands, and publishers will drive the most significant network effect in engaging shoppers. Connected networks are the future of shopper entertainment, engagement, and conversion. As businesses seek to regain control of their communication with customers, they'll effectively take back ownership of customer connectivity from walled garden social apps and historically bifurcated ecosystems will unite together. There is inherent risk in driving content for consumers and shoppers into a portal you don't own: unpredictable algorithm shifts, taxes on conversion, potential government or legislative intervention, and ownership of 1P data. This is where a single video commerce solution comes into play. With the ability to create immersive experiences for shoppers via any outlet, we will see omni-channel, cross-platform integration at a scale yet to be seen.
    – Jason Holland, Chief Business Officer 
  6. Across the board, programmatic and automated transactions will tap video commerce in support of retail media networks. The pivot to retail media networks (RMNs) is already well underway and will continue to rapidly accelerate in 2023. In 2022, nearly three-quarters of brands had a budget dedicated to RMNs, according to AdWeek, and spending in the space is expected to exceed $52 billion this year. Entrants will continue to expand, with more and more agencies joining the ranks of strategic RMN buys supported by onsite or in-app video where conversion can be measured. Likewise, RMN offerings will continue to evolve offsite and will not be limited to the retailer's digital domain, with more dynamic ad types such as vertical and shoppable video as well as search capabilities taking a firm hold. This is all possible because RMNs append their rich data sets to media buys across premium publishers on the open web, social media, and email.
    – Billy Cladek, Senior Vice President, Global Retail and Publishing
  7. Innovation budgets will die and performance will be prioritized. Amid slashed budgets, a rise in customer acquisition costs, and a potentially rocky few quarters, marketers will be laser-focused on getting the most out of their spend. The marketers that emerge best-suited for ongoing success will look closely at ROI, as well as trends that appeal specifically to Gen Z and Millennial consumers. Brands will look to optimize on their own channels, recognizing the diminishing returns and volatility of social media, and will increasingly turn to short-form video as a reliably high-performing medium.
    – Suzanne Strasser Grant, Senior Vice President, Global Head of Agency and Strategic Partnerships
  8. Livestream shopping will spur a new wave of co-creation between brands and their customers. Creativity is no longer exclusively a brand-led pursuit or a one-way street. As social sites like TikTok have broken down the barriers between influencers/celebrities and their fans, it's spurred new, collaborative forms of creativity. Users take an idea created by another user, put their own spin on it, and put it back into the social ecosystem where it can continue to be riffed on. We expect brands to tap into the goldmine of creativity that can flow from their own customers through interactions and ideas shared in livestream shopping experiences, where brands invite their customers to weigh in on favorite products and even suggest future iterations and exclusive drops.
     Nikki Leonard, Vice President, Head of US Enterprise

Firework enters 2023 poised to bolster its position as the world's leading video commerce solution through continued innovation and growth. For more information on Firework, visit https://firework.com/.

About Firework

Firework is the world's leading video commerce solution built for brands. Leveraging shoppable and livestream video and powerful monetization capabilities, Firework empowers the world's most dynamic and exciting retailers, consumer brands, and publishers to build engaging video experiences on their owned and operated digital properties and across channels at a global scale. Firework enables organizations to bring new levels of authenticity and connection to online video experiences, speaking to digital natives in the language they understand fully—and taking control of their own customer data. The company has raised over $235 million in capital to date. To learn more, please visit firework.com.