Livescale Academy

Elevate KOL to KOS | vol.17



2020 was considered “year zero” for Live Shopping in the west; a time to retarget and adapt. In 2021, it is the year to get familiar and craft your action plan gradually. Here are insights from Asia decoded by Livescale’s own experts, for all the businesses in the west.

Ask the Experts: Elevate Key Opinion Leaders to Key Opinion Sellers

Sean Choi

A Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary strategist at 1000heads who successfully services industry-leading clientele like Google and Microsoft by prioritizing culture and embracing communication.


The trusted customer success manager for Livescale’s North American and European key accounts in industries such as beauty, fashion and home furniture. From sofas to moisturizers, she is the expert in all things strategy and growth-related.

Agencies are Great Allies for Live Shopping Newcomers. Here’s Why:

There is a lot of potential in the Live Shopping space but not a lot of resources on ‘what to do’ and ‘how to do it’ for the people who already see the ‘why’ or the value in it. Agencies like 1000heads keep a pulse on what’s emerging to ensure clients are ahead of the game; they predicted the migration of live shopping to North America.

Meet the new Influencers: KOS vs. KOL

Similar to social media influencers, live shopping is enabled by helpful technology, but a large portion of its success is reliant upon the human element of a talent. Although there are various types of effective host types:

Live Shopping immersive checkout

A Key Opinion Leader (KOL) is an influential personality that can drive thinking, action, and decisions in mass.

A Key Opinion Seller (KOS) is either an internal brand member (designer, sales, founder) or an experienced KOL with additional product-specific expertise that garners consistently high conversion.

Conversions within Live Shopping come from the influence, trust, and connection between the viewers and the host. Put simply, these individuals will be the ones who make or break a live shopping strategy.

In Live Shopping, how much emphasis should be placed on a KOL strategy?

The benefits are endless. From a monetary and status standpoint;

  • It increases conversion
  • It’s maximizing return on ad spend
  • There are lower costs for talent now than there will be down the road
  • The future savings in the early adoption, pioneering of an emerging media venue and being a market leader
  • Prior to the saturation of competition in live shopping, be the benefactor of a higher market share of awareness and reach
  • Long term brand benefits, brand love and perceived innovation

Learn it all on our Latest Podcast

Going from Key Opinion Leader to Key Opinion Seller by Sean Choi, A multi-disciplined Strategist with the 1000heads agency.

How to Elevate a Brand’s Live Shopping Host from KOL to KOS:

Picking just an “ok” Influencer can Result in Wasted Spend.

Assess your current or future roster and ask yourself if they have real potential of being a KOS. Keep in mind that KOSs require a different skillset than social influencers and these characteristics are critical to selling more. Aside from their online presence, specific traits that I look for are their ability to learn, personability, and adaptability.

Being a quick and willing learner is crucial because product knowledge can’t be faked in this setting and could be absolutely detrimental to viewer trust.

TIP : Upon onboarding, considering having your potential KOL prepare a 30-second elevator pitch about your product. See if they hit the core of your product, if they can read between the lines.

Be a People Person.

Charisma goes a long way in live shopping and when pairing it with authenticity, it can become simply deadly. Authenticity is difficult to discern in candidates and difficult to teach upon signing but is fundamental for gaining consumer trust – a time-tested competency in human connection.

FACT : QVC lifestyle influencer Jill Martin stated “People want to buy something from someone they trust.” She went on to report that she generated $60 million in revenue for the Today Show in 2018.

Stay Cool, Calm, and Collected.
KOSs need to be able to maintain composure during potential technical difficulties, product malfunctions, and limit unnecessary deviations. Think of the adaptability of TV personalities, they don’t have the grace of post-editing and that’s what you’d expect from a KOS. 

Learn it all on our Latest Podcast

Going from Key Opinion Leader to Key Opinion Seller by Azelie, The trusted Customer Success Manager for Livescale’s  key accounts in industries from beauty to home furniture.

The Takeaway: Elevate your KOL to KOS

  • Identify the right people
  • Form the right relationship
  • Innovate on compensation models
  • Find the sweet spot overlap between your audience your KOL
  • Make them shine; promote, promote, promote
  • Reuse the content you create
  • Be patient & test

TIP : The first person that should be converted to live shopping is your actual host. If they don’t believe in the product, viewers won’t believe them. Once they’re sold, allow the KOL to exercise their creativity and work collaboratively with them to create content. Ensure their voice is authentically captured and shines. 

Identify your level