Does Coach’s experience with Tmall offer livestreaming lessons for U.S. retailers?

Discussion
Source: Coach livestream with Lucky Editor-in-Chief Eva Chen, Supermodel Karlie Kloss and Lifestyle vlogger Lo Bosworth
Jan 19, 2023

Sheena Butler-Young, senior correspondent for Business of Fashion, on Monday took to the NRF Big Show stage to moderate a robust session with Renee Klein, vice president of global digital experience and customer marketing at Coach, and Mei Chen, director of fashion and luxury North America, UK and Northern Europe at Alibaba Group – globalization business.

The discussion covered a host of innovative strategies Coach has implemented through its partnership with Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Pavilion. Especially noteworthy: holiday-edition assortments and livestreaming.  

Ms. Klein explained that Coach launches livestream content scheduled around, and relevant to, individual Chinese holidays, which has proven largely successful with consumers. She and Ms. Chen shared a list of several significant dates with commercial implications for retailers and they made a point of mentioning that the list, though lengthy, was by no means exhaustive.

Given how much weight is placed in the states on retailers’ Q4 numbers, perhaps even U.S. brands outside of the luxury arena could embrace more holiday-centric innovation beyond the usual deep-discounting approach and spread that innovation more frequently throughout the whole year.

Much of the conversation was dedicated to the livestreaming techniques woven into these campaigns to ensure not only engagement, but conversion. Ms. Chen emphasized that while the West often taps “influencers,” for livestreaming, what drives the most impact in the East is the fact that brands tend to rely on “Key Opinion Leaders” (KOLs). KOLs are not necessarily the personalities with the most followers, but the ones with dedicated fans due to the niche knowledge they possess in a particular product category. The depth of their experience in a certain space is what earns them the credibility that drives conversion among viewers.

Ms. Chen also reiterated the fact that, with Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Pavilion technology suite, brands have opportunities to create fully customizable, unique, virtual environments for consumer engagement. 3D product visualization was a standout feature within the Tmall Luxury Pavilion destination, highlighting another key differentiator from most digital channels in the U.S. thus far. Overall, the talk offered a glimpse into the future for a shopping channel that hasn’t quite made its way mainstream in the U.S. yet, but could still be promising if retailers forge ahead.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Would a focus on key opinion leaders instead of influencers work for American retailers and brands in their social media campaigns and livestreaming? Are there opportunities for retailers to focus more on holiday-edition assortments and content throughout the year to reduce the need for discounts?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"American retailers may never say it, but their reaction to selling is they can’t do it without a deal. So they deluge shoppers with discounts."
"Livestreaming thrives in China, as platforms like Tmall and WeChat are robust, integrated and widely adopted by companies and consumers. Western markets aren’t there yet..."
"Retailers need to be all in for focusing marketing efforts based on experience, livestreaming events take the cake for ROI and conversions."

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5 Comments on "Does Coach’s experience with Tmall offer livestreaming lessons for U.S. retailers?"


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Gene Detroyer
BrainTrust

This commentary comes perfectly on the heels of yesterday’s discussion, “Are retail communications out of sync with consumers?” American retailers have taught shoppers they should never buy without a discount. American retailers may never say it, but their reaction to selling is they can’t do it without a deal. So they deluge shoppers with discounts.

The Chinese shopper is less of a shopper than their U.S. counterpart. They are much more focused on what they want to buy and find it easily in online malls. The personal savings rate is 45 percent. They don’t shop carelessly. The meaningful time for buying is focused on significant holidays and buying events like Singles Day.

Lisa Goller
BrainTrust

Livestreaming thrives in China, as platforms like Tmall and WeChat are robust, integrated and widely adopted by companies and consumers. Western markets aren’t there yet (and that’s okay). Livestreaming will evolve beyond early adopters as more companies invest in shoppable content and digital retailtainment.

For now, KOLs can boost brand trust on social media with their integrity, deep expertise and engaged communities. Also, limited-time holiday editions and ongoing product innovation add value to command premium pricing.

Richard Hernandez
BrainTrust

I saw many retailers get into livestreaming last holiday season and the sessions were apparently well attended. QVC/HSN has been in the livestreaming business for decades, and I believe it will it will continue to grow as more shoppers become familiar with it and demand it to be an option for buying products.

Patrick Jacobs
BrainTrust

Dividing KOL and traditional influencers only makes sense if the brand’s community prefers one or the other. Best case scenario the two spaces would work together.

UGC works well at different touch points beyond social and I am seeing more authentic narratives presented by brands. Not to discount the traditional influencer or the creator content market, which also boils down to a powerful narrative, especially during live shows.

Retailers need to be all in for focusing marketing efforts based on experience, livestreaming events take the cake for ROI and conversions.

Mark Self
BrainTrust

Love the livestreaming tactic and see no reason for that not to be trialed here in the states. “Deal” hunting is not going away, but why wouldn’t offerings around different holidays be a way to increase demand? Seems like a logical addition to retailers social media arsenals to me.

As for opinions leaders versus influencers, that seems pretty similar to me, and perhaps specific to China opposed to something that could be global.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"American retailers may never say it, but their reaction to selling is they can’t do it without a deal. So they deluge shoppers with discounts."
"Livestreaming thrives in China, as platforms like Tmall and WeChat are robust, integrated and widely adopted by companies and consumers. Western markets aren’t there yet..."
"Retailers need to be all in for focusing marketing efforts based on experience, livestreaming events take the cake for ROI and conversions."

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