AWS for M&E Blog

Loupe live shopping platform upgrades user experience with Amazon IVS

Loupe cards and mobile phone

Designed for card collectors, live e-commerce platform Loupe connects buyers with small businesses across the US to provide on-demand access to sports cards 24/7. Loupe focuses on fostering a community through real-time chat and big, exciting, memorable moments. After completing a thorough vetting process, vendors can live stream sales via the platform, which supports web, iOS, and Android. To provide customers with a high-quality experience, Loupe powers its live streams using Amazon Interactive Video Service (Amazon IVS) on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

“Unlike a static marketplace, Loupe is a fully interactive live experience. It’s also a reliable destination for in-demand collectibles, built on community and trust. Our initial live stream solution wasn’t allowing us to hit the high bar we wanted,” explained Loupe founder and CEO, Eric Doty. “When we implemented Amazon IVS for our live streams, the video quality jumped substantially, and our users immediately noticed it. I wish we had it from day one.”

Released in October 2020, Loupe was inspired by the team’s own lackluster card collecting experiences and the rise of “box breaking”—the term for someone buying cards from a seller who’s opening them on a live stream. While revitalizing the sports card hobby, box break purchases often required several time-consuming steps across different platforms. Loupe unifies these steps, allowing customers to complete the purchasing journey in as little as 10 seconds without leaving the app.

Loupe HQ Image

“In a typical sports card break, the seller might live stream on a social platform, you message them to make a purchase, they reply and direct you to their website. You then find the item and purchase it with an online payment application, which sends the seller an email about the transaction, so they can open the product on the live stream. It’s way too many unnecessary steps,” noted Brett Makedonski, Loupe director of communications. “Our team has a background in video games and designing cutting-edge viewing experiences. We saw how the sports card industry is lagging and could be so much better. By streamlining the experience, collectors are more likely to buy in because we’ve removed a lot of the friction seen in other e-commerce platforms.”

Loupe developers leverage the Amazon IVS broadcast SDK and player SDK to custom integrate the live streaming service within the platform, and the IVS Mobile Broadcast SDK enables sellers to go live straight from the Loupe mobile application. Amazon IVS powers these live streams, which are configured to record to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) automatically. Loupe makes the files available for on-demand viewing or download through the Amazon CloudFront content delivery network in case sellers or buyers want to share highlights of the stream on their own social channels. About a month after the live stream, the video is archived to Amazon S3 Glacier storage, economically preserving the content while allowing the app to highlight more recent streams. Amazon Elastic Compute (Amazon EC2) and Amazon Container Service (Amazon ECS) allow Loupe to seamlessly run a scalable computing infrastructure to power its applications. The team also relies on Amazon CloudWatch for gathering and analyzing performance data.

The migration from the previous live stream solution and tech stack was complete in about two months and has been live since June 2022. The move to Amazon IVS and AWS has allowed Loupe to double the max live stream resolution, increase the max bitrate by 8x, and increase the frame rate by 4x, in addition to gaining live stream stability and customization capabilities. Though sports cards are the primary offering, the functionality Loupe has built with AWS could easily apply to nearly any live streaming e-commerce or auction-based marketplace.

“Our focus is on providing a quality experience to a specific audience that is enthusiastic, engaged, and discerning. They’re willing to pay for premium collectibles—and many are repeat customers, but only when their expectations are met. High-quality video is central to our success, and we’ve seen a significant increase in viewership and business since implementing Amazon IVS,” Doty concluded.

With the integration of Amazon IVS, Loupe has created an elevated experience for the card collector community by streamlining the traditional buying and unboxing process. By providing customers with more personalized and engaging shopping experiences, innovative solutions like Amazon IVS will continue to help retailers stay relevant and competitive in an ever-evolving retail landscape.

To learn more about building with interactive live video, check out:

Josh Walters

Josh Walters

Josh Walters manages growth marketing programs for Amazon Interactive Video Service, focusing on building, scaling, and improving initiatives that increase awareness among developers creating interactive live streaming experiences.