Telly shopping has been around for ages, since live television was invented. Now, we are living through a live shopping renaissance with China leading the way for many marketers.
The Chinese retailer, Taobao, has pioneered livestream shopping technology across their e-commerce. The combined transaction volume of its Marketplace and Tmall.com reached 3 trillion yuan in 2017, more than that of all US e-commerce sites combined. On the site, large businesses pay influencers and celebrities to host streams and sell their products, an effective strategy when bricks and mortar stores have been closed as a result of the pandemic.
For the rest of the world, the race is on to harness live shopping technology and catch up with Chinese retail giants. In fact, the livestream industry is expected to be valued at a whopping 184.27 billion USD by 2027.
So, why is livestream shopping so popular? This could be due to the community feel it provides for consumers. The conversational, personal and real-time experience connects brands and customers in a way that replicates the offline shopping experience online. In an increasingly digital world, livestream provides a more human touch to online shopping.
How it works.....
Live shops are a form of shoppable, interactive video. Viewers can click hotspots in the stream to find out more about a product or add it to their basket and complete a transaction without leaving the stream. Brands who want to host a stream create tags before going live and associate those tags to the streaming platform they wish to use. This will create an interactive overlay over the live stream that viewers can shop through and interact with. A shoppable side carousel will allow viewers to browse other products and a chat room will encourage consumers to ask questions and communicate with the stream host. The stream can then be integrated into social media platforms or onto the brand e-commerce site.
Interactive video platforms that can help you go live...
Brands can create shoppable live stream events
Every live shop event features a product carousel
Purchase products without leaving the stream
Smartzer's player can be full integrated into the Demandware API to instantly pull up to date product info into the editor to be displayed to viewers
Exclusive, ticketed events can be repurposed onto brand e-commerce and used as marketing material to turn views into qualified traffic.
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Helps online stores interact with customers via streaming commerce
The add on lets brands embed a code on their e-commerce so they can stream live
Using the Bambuser app brands can start their live shop and allow customers to purchase along
Chat room allows viewers to interact with store associates to ask questions
Helps to connect brands and customers encouraging trust and loyalty
One to one or one to many product offerings
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Platform for discovering new beauty brands via streaming commerce
Tutorials from real people
Shop the products displayed straight from the video
90 second demo's
Save products to buy later or purchase straight away
Call-to-action to go to merchants e-commerce
Favourite creators to keep up with their activity and current trends
Nordstrom debut's livestream shopping on their e-commerce
Luxury US department store, Nordstrom has launched their own shopping channel that allows customers to shop live with streams with store associates, brand partners and beauty, fashion and homeware experts. By signing up to virtual events, customers can join to buy displayed products and ask questions to their hosts. Upcoming live events include Burberry virtual styling filmed in New York City by stylist José Ramón Reyes who will show fashion fans how to style Burberry's latest runway looks. Other events feature tutorials on the hottest trends and tips for skincare, makeup and hair from experts at Tom Ford, Giorgio Armani and Charlotte Tilbury.
Macy's X Klarna presents a live shopping experience
Klarna held a livestream shopping event at Macy;s Herald Square in New York in partnership with Cosmopolitan. The two day 'Hauliday' event allowed customers to shop exclusive deals from Macy's and iconic brands like Adidas, Rebecca Minkoff and Express Bluemercury and Foot Locker. The livestream was hosted by Jackie Miranne whose mother invented the Miracle Mop that sold millions on telly shopping giant, QVC in 1990. Miranne showcased 60 products from Macy's while engaging shoppers in real time to answer questions and respond to comments.
Clarins nailed livestream shopping with their virtual store!
Clarins partnered with Vee24 to reimaging their e-commerce and create a totally interactive experience for their customers. The 360 degree, explorable online shop gives consumers the benefits of in person shopping, online. The boutique features several sections like skin workshops, where customers can learn about products and application techniques as well as a virtual try on feature to test makeup with camera features. Using VeeStudio and Veeschedular, Clarins allows customers to book one-on-one online consultations via livestream with beauty coaches. Customers can also re-watch previous streams with guest influencers. This gives a bespoke, human feel to online shopping and adds a personal touch that encourages viewers to buy products.
For more information about taking your shop live, visit Smartzer's website here!
The past year has been a weird one. With people told to stay home and events cancelled, it has been hard to find anything to look forward to. However, brands and events have been looking to overcome this barrier to create exciting experiences for viewers to watch online at home.
In 2021, London Fashion Week was entirely digital with fashion shows being live streamed online. 95 brands took part this season with the likes of Bora Aksu filming at the Tate Britain for an exciting and immersive at home viewing experience.
On the LFW website, viewers can browse the collections featured or enter the DiscoveryLAB to discover and connect with fresh, emerging brands. Additionally, the show was fully open for wholesale to shop live and follow links to the designers digital showrooms and contacts for sales enquiries under the 'industry' tab. Fashion enthusiasts could listen to podcasts and read stories about trends, brand origins and more.
LONDON show ROOMS provides an opportunity for emerging British designers to promote their brands to international audiences and Positive Fashion provided conversations about environmental, diversity, supply chain, ethics and responsibility in fashion.
People could also shop live fashion drops and collections from LFW designers and audience participation was encouraged by #LFW to start conversations about the event.
Video interactivity was encouraged by luxury handbag brand SEVDA LONDON. Presented by the British Fashion Council, the form of streaming commerce features women modelling the brands latest handbag release. The viewer can click on the products to find out more and the option to "SHOP" with the call-to-action. The viewer can also click to reveal the side bar that shows the whole collection to shop from the video. SEVDA also features on JOOR, a wholesale platform that supports video interactivity for product viewing. Here, retailers can technically shop live streamed fashion shows after release. This form of streaming commerce is an exciting new way for buyers to virtually view collections.
While in-person shows are prohibited, brands must think of new ways to reach viewers at home. By mastering video interactivity and streaming commerce, brands could reach immersive, inclusive and innovative new heights during LFW 2021.
2020 was the year for cancelled plans. The Summer Olympics was cancelled for the first time since World War II, Glastonbury 20/21 was cancelled, Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, The Rolling Stones and The Weeknd were all forced to reschedule their highly anticipated tours and ITV’s Love Island was unable to take place. The list goes on.
With the word of the year being “unprecedented”, the only thing we could be 100% sure of was that the events industry needed to adapt to accommodate for restrictions.
While some brands have refunded and rescheduled events, some have made the virtual transition to livestream. In fact, the occurrence of virtual events went up 1000% since the start of COVID-19 with 52,000 on just one platform, 6Connex.
Brands driving virtual events in 2021
Online livestream venue StageIt has been helping to connect fans with lesser known artists for years. Here, acts stream live from the comfort of their homes via laptop cameras. Through an interactive chat room feature, fans can communicate with artists by asking questions and requesting songs. With venues closed, StageIt enables fans to financially support artists through a monetized system and acts can show their appreciation for viewers via a virtual tip jar. Through interactive video streams, fans can win prizes such as band merch or one-on-one Zoom sessions.
Bigger artists such as The Weeknd have held live, interactive virtual concerts. In August 2020 he took to TikTok drawing over 2 million total viewers and raising over $350,000 for the Equal Justice Initiative. Adam Lambert will host a series of live streams this February 2021 discussing Stonewall day and up and coming LGBTQ artists. Eddie Vedder, Phoebe Bridgers and more are set to perform virtually for the 34th annual Tibet House US Benefit concert with tickets starting at $25.
Harnessing the magic of the internet, Dior streamed their Autumn 2021 Men's show live online as a part of Paris Men’s Fashion Week on 22 January 2021. The innovative, vibrant collection inspired by surrealism and science fiction reflected the limitless possibilities of combining technology with fashion. Featuring art from Kenny Scharf the show was streamed live using Amazon owned platform Twitch. The technology has also been used by Burberry in their Spring/Summer 2021 show. By contrast to Snapchat, Facebook Live, or Instagram, Twitch’s streaming service is more public, bringing the front row seat at fashion week to your device screen. The interactive video experience gave viewers the opportunity to connect with each other in live chat rooms. As a result, live streaming could bring the fashion community together during a socially distanced period.
With store doors closed, interactive video is opening up new opportunities for ecommerce. Department store Brown Thomas partnered with Smartzer to create interactive and shoppable video events featuring brands like Laura Mercier and Bare Minerals. Customers could book onto breakthrough beauty masterclasses and tutorials to learn about makeup products and application techniques. They could shop the content shown in the stream via a product carousel and add items to their basket without leaving the stream. Through these exclusive events, customers were provided with a bespoke, live shopping experience that generated a community feel for like minded makeup enthusiasts.
By using Smartzer’s player that was fully integrated into the Demandware API, up-to-date product information could be instantly pulled into the Smartzer editor and player to be showcased to viewers. The private videos are now available on Brown Thomas’s ecommerce site for anyone to view. By using these videos for video content marketing, brands can engage and inform standard web visitors and turn general traffic into qualified traffic. Tests have revealed that a consumer who watched a video demonstrating a product was 144% more likely to add that product to their shopping cart. Through interactive, demonstrative video content brands can increase online engagement and build trust with their audiences to increase conversion rates.