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Is Amazon Live a Futureproofing Play to Win With Gen Z?

Two years have passed since Amazon shut down its Style Code Live streaming video shopping initiative. Now, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant is back in the video-meets-commerce arena with a new effort: Amazon Live.

Broader in scope than its predecessor, Amazon Live lets sellers across multiple categories showcase their products for viewers and interact via chat with anyone tuning in. Shoppers choose from several simultaneous live streams and can see recent videos as well as what’s coming up next. Livestreaming improves discoverability, according to Amazon’s description of Live, and boosts sales by including a carousel of featured products underneath each video stream. A testimonial from card game Watch Ya’ Mouth says livestreaming drove a 5x lift in traffic to its product detail page and also boosted sales “significantly.”

Since the demise of Style Code Live, Amazon has dabbled with live video streams, typically for major events like Prime Day.

Shopping livestreams and video-driven commerce are gaining traction as a hot new(ish) area of retail. QVC, no stranger to this world, recently debuted a new mobile app focused on video that’s part of the brand’s “larger strategic plan to bring shopping experiences to customers across multiple platforms,” the company said. In December Facebook reportedly began testing a new feature in Thailand that lets sellers with an official Pages account livestream to viewers, who can screenshot anything that catches their interest and pay for it via Messenger.

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Data shows the value that video content brings to the conversion funnel. Eighty-five percent of millennials claim they purchased from a brand after watching a video from that company, according to research from cloud video provider Brightcove, and that’s 9 percent more than adults overall. The global video streaming market is expected to top $70 billion by 2021, according to

With Amazon Live, the company could be looking to keep traffic on its site. YouTube remains a popular destination for product-focused video content, whether it’s an unboxing, a fashion haul or a handy how-to. Viewers of Amazon Live can see how a product works, get usage and styling tips, and ask any questions before making a purchase decision.

But Amazon could also see Live as a place for Gen Zers (defined here as 18-22 years old) to get at least part of their regular video fix, as they currently spend 3.4 hours daily watching videos online, according to research by video creation platform Wibbitz, and are growing into their spending power. More of that video consumption happens on mobile (2.9 hours) than devices like TV (1.8 hours), tablet (0.6 hours) or desktop PCs (1.7 hours). Wibbitz noted that 23 percent of Gen Zers purchased something immediately after seeing it in a video.

Amazon Live has a landing page at and within the main navigation menus in the Android and iOS apps.

For now, Amazon prohibits sellers based in China and Hong Kong from participating in Live, a decision that could reflect the rampant counterfeiting coming out of those two areas.