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.
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.
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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.
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 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.
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