If there’s one thing Mark Bozek prides himself on knowing, it’s online shopping and online consumers – their motivation and buying behaviors. As founder and CEO of Live Rocket LLC, formerly CEO of HSN and EVINE Live, and senior vice president at QVC
As a brand creator, he launched and developed over $1 billion in proprietary brands at HSN and QVC, including Wolfgang Puck Cookware, Adrian Arpel’s Signature Club A Cosmetics, Andrew Lessman Vitamins, Jennifer Stallone’s Serious Skin Care, Beekman 180 and was even romantically linked to Joy Mangano, whose name became synonymous with the Miracle Mop, and whose life was portrayed by actress Jennifer Lawrence in a 1989 feature film, which marked the directorial debut of actor Bradley Cooper.
“This is exactly what Firework has been doing from a technology standpoint,” said Vincent Yang, Firework cofounder, referring to Generation Z’s shopping habits. Bozek said LiveRocket featured and supported Brooklyn-based nonprofit Mercado Global – a 5013 social enterprise organization that links indigenous artisans in rural Guatemalan communities to international sales opportunities to encourage financial independence and prosperity. Mercado Global products on sale included a variety of hand-stitched, ethically and sustainably-produced totes, clutches, and handbag sets.
“We really want to power every single business to go mobile to bring the next generation of shopping experiences. That’s how we decided to be the infrastructure to power LiveRocket and all the shopping events they’re doing,” Yang added. “I was definitely surprised that it was so successful. I was told it was the largest online livestream sale ever. I was very shocked at how powerful it was.”
Why the enthusiastic reception from consumers? “First of all, here are some stats,” Yang said, “80% of customers watch the livestream shopping events from their mobile phones. Consumers are very engaged with this new format. Pretty much every single product sold out right away, and this is way better than the traditional kind of web site and ecommerce experience.
“The consumer is very engaged,” Yang added. “People are spending almost 5 to 7 minutes on the site to watch the show, where traditionally, they spend less than 40-seconds on a web site or Instagram or Facebook. Now, consumers are spending 10-times as much time – and that’s significant to the results.”
When asked to take a deeper dive into the reasons the livestream resonated so strongly with consumers, Yang said, “When I look at why, the first thing is interactivity. Consumers can ask questions and they can spend a long period of time shopping the web site.”
Remarkably, LiveRocket’s livestream feed surpassed the numbers of Amazon’s
Bozek told me that interactive livestreams drive conversion because they build “authentic, emotional connections with customers on your owned-and-operated properties, such as ecommerce sites. Amplification drives reach and traffic,” Bozek added. “We dynamically repurpose and distribute content across a network of 350-plus premium publishers and all social channels. Social commerce drives loyalty, and highly-engaging features are embedded directly into the experience for additional value.
“This is an amazing experience,” Yang added. “On the left side [of the computer screen] you see so many people are chatting and interacting. Meanwhile, on the buy side, every single product is visible. You can buy and purchase every product right away. You can you click on some of the products. If you can’t click on something that means it’s already in someone’s shopping cart, so everything is happening in real time. It’s a very nice shopping experience.
“This is how it looks on desktop,” Yang explained. “Firework also provides playbook and consulting expertise, go-to-market approaches for short-shoppable and livestream videos that are built for conversion at scale. ‘We bring you the strategy that enables the growth of your business,’” Yang said. “There’s also dynamic video repurposing. You can easily repurpose your entire existing video library into the right format for short-swipeable mobile experiences, and Live Rocket has a creator studio, where you can efficiently make your own videos with Firework’s Creator Studio or connect with millions of creators to bring further authenticity to your livestreams.
“Firework can also help you get started with preferred production support,” Yang added. “You’ll learn how to best produce livestream and short videos and absorb over time. Our mission from day one is to make the world’s most creative storytellers great at short-videos. Who we are?” Yang asked rhetorically. “Firework is the brainchild of cofounders Vincent Yang and Jerry Luk, that officially launched in 2017. Today, Firework reaches over 250 million-plus people globally who consume millions of short-videos across hundreds of categories, and includes the creativity of over 300,000-plus professional creators on the open web.”
Bozek, who takes his role as an industry disruptor seriously, said, “When you assemble a small, but formidable group of dedicated people who have a single goal in mind, and you pay them peanuts, you can do almost anything.”