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Shopify... for livestreaming e-commerce: The Drum editorial team’s best of 2020

It’s that time again, when we look back at the agencies, the brands, the organizations, movements and trends that have shaped the past year. In 2020 – a year so many of us would like to forget – our industry of problem solvers proved time and again that they have what it takes to muck in, help out, ask questions, shape cultures and change the world. It is them that we celebrate in our New Year Honors.

One of the trends from this year that’ll grow further in 2021 is e-commerce livestreaming – or shoppertainment as it’s called in Asia Pacific. Started in China by the e-commerce giants, shoppable video live-streams have become a high energy and sociable way to sell goods in a year that saw many of us confined to our homes.

In fact, this is a trends that is inextricably linked to the pandemic. Alibaba’s Taobao shopping platform said in February 2020 that the number of brands that adopted livestreaming grew 719% month-on-month as they sought new ways to reach consumers at home.

Fastforward six months and global e-commerce platform Shopify announced a number of partnerships and new services to its platform... including livestreaming. This is significant because with 820,000 businesses using the Shopify platform to sell goods, this launch took e-commerce livestreaming as a predominantly Asian trend out into the west.

Keeping up with another notable 2020 hit – TikTok – Shopify also announced a commerce partnership with the short-form video platform. From Shopify, brands can create shoppable in-feed video ads for TikTok.

Finally, in a showing of e-commerce’s resilience in a year of challenging economic circumstances, Shopify merchants broke records in selling over $5.1bn in worldwide sales, according to the brand.

While the trends of 2020 such as livestreaming and TikTok appear to prevail, it’s platforms with the foresight to move at the speed of culture that will prevail. This far, Shopify is keeping pace.

We’ll be celebrating all our favorite things about 2020 on thedrum.com between now and early January. Keep an eye on our New Year Honors hub to read more.