Livestreaming and Liveshopping
The revival of Home Shopping Television Channels
Every other Wednesday, h/commerce provides in-depth analysis of the most impactful trends reshaping retail.
Back in the days, in the 80’s, QVC (Quality Value Convenience) and the Home Shopping Channel appeared on television. Customers were able to do their shopping while items were advertised in real time on tv.
Live shopping is now digital!
Livestream shopping on platforms isn’t something new but clearly shifted up a gear since last year. COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of live shopping. In the current context of lockdown, it is a quite powerful way for retailers to engage its customers in an interactive way. It also makes the online shopping experience richer.
Indeed, many brands are looking to livestream shopping as an opportunity to strengthen their e-commerce offering. According to Coresight Research, livestream e-commerce could reach $25 billion in sales in the U.S. by 2023.
How does it work?
Usually, livestream shopping is on a brand’s initiative and special guests, influencers, experts or even famous personalities are hosted on a social media platform like Instagram, Youtube, Facebook but also Tiktok. Some brands even include dedicated pages for livestream shopping on their own website. Brands can also choose to use an existing live streaming platform like: Popshop Live, ShopShops, TalkShopLive, Foot Locker-backed NTWRK and so on. Live shopping combines livestreaming, already available on social media platforms for some times now, with the ability to purchase products from the livestream.
Most of the time, viewers taking part in the live shopping can interact with the host like in-person shopping. Then, lives increasingly come with the possibility to purchase without having to leave the platform to go on the brand’s website.
For some years now China has been leading this type of social retailing. The fact that China owns platforms like Taobao and Wechat, both already mixing social media and e-commerce models, could explain the head start of China on this field. European countries and the US have now to catch up. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook are progressively integrating marketplace technologies within their model.
Some cases of brands implementing livestream shopping in their e-commerce strategy
Macy’s chose partnerships
At the beginning of March, the brand took part in a second livestream shopping event called “Hauliday by Cosmo x Klarna” in partnership with ‘buy now pay later app’ Klarna and Cosmopolitan magazine. The event also featured other fashion and cosmetics retailers like Rebecca Minkoff, Saks Off 5th, Express and Foot Locker. The livestream shopping technology was provided by ShopShops.
The event was accessible through Klarna and Cosmopolitan websites, and the viewers were able to join the livestream at Macy’s Herald Square through the ShopShops app. The host of this livestream was Jackie Miranne, a TV show host but also blogger and model.
Nordstrom launched its own series of livestream shopping events
In March, Nordstrom announced the launch of a new page dedicated to livestream shopping on its own website (website page: https://nordstromrsvp.com/nlive). The idea was to release each week throughout 2021 livestream events hosting different guests.
The first one was a Burberry virtual styling event hosted by the stylist José Ramón Reyes.
Upcoming events will focus on beauty, skincare and fashion. Some experts and brand representatives will join lives to provide tips and tricks according to the emerging topic. Indeed, most of the livestreams provided by the company consist in giving advice to the shoppers like: how to style this trendy fashion items, or how to get this perfect brow line with makeup?
Most of the livestreams are then available in replay on Nordstrom Youtube channel.
Walmart also introduced a shoppable livestream but in partnership with TikTok.
In March, Walmart hosted a second shoppable livestream on Tiktok focusing essentially on beauty products. It was Walmart’s second livestream on TikTok. The first livestream organized by Walmart mostly focused on fashion products but this time the brand put the spotlight on its beauty range.
The event was a success, allowing the brand to grow its Tiktok community by 25%. It allowed viewers to directly order their products from the social platform without having to leave the livestream. Some content creators, like Gabby Morrison were invited to share their favorite beauty products from Walmart with the community and even share some tutorials.
In France, SEB – the French consortium of small appliances and cookware – multiplied livestream shopping events showcasing various brands of the group on its websites.
The first livestream shopping was dedicated to Moulinex. It took the form of a live culinary show broadcasted on social media but also on Boulanger and Darty websites, two electronics retailers in France. The aim was to present the new Cookeo and Companion food processors. This live also hosted special guests like the famous French chef Cyril Lignac, some influencers as well as customers from their own kitchens. As a result, this live event reached 333 000 views, 20 000 comments and 4 million viewers in replay.
In February, SEB organized a big live show for Candlemas. This live event showcased Tefal on Facebook and Tefal.fr. Stéphane Plaza, the famous French TV show host, and two candidates from French culinary tv shows were all cooking in their kitchen. They had to prepare a crepe batter’s recipe and then had to cook the preparation in two kinds of pan from Tefal. Obviously, the aim of this live shopping was to promote the pan range.
Other brands within SEB consortium have also launched their own livestream events like Krups for example. Moreover, new live events are expected in the coming months.
Why is it interesting?
Livestream shopping has truly digitized the home shopping experience via social media, apps, and websites.
First of all, brands try to provide a better online shopping experience by using live shopping as a way to bring human approach back to the shopping journey. It can really fill the gap still existing in online commerce: lack of human interaction.
Indeed, it allows the brand to provide customers with instantaneous guidance and advice according to their needs, their questioning. Consumers are keen of reviews and recommendations from their relatives, so, provide them with reviews from influencers or experts is quite comforting in their online consumer journey.
Then, offering entertainment and meaningful content to customers is really helping to engage them. It is also a seamless shopping experience for the followers missing both social bound and shopping in this pandemic time. During these unprecedented times, using livestream shopping ensures the continuity of the offer while stores remain closed.
It is also a way for companies to get customers’ comments and opinions in live. These instantaneous feedbacks come from shoppers’ chat in real time.
To sum up, this new way to shop online allows brands to reach their customers whenever they are, and today, it is mostly on social media that they spend most of their free time.
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