Is livestream grocery shopping on the way in the U.S.?
Albertsons’ e-grocery customers will soon be able to shop via video.
The regional grocer is entering into a partnership with video platform Firework, which it will use to place short-form shoppable videos and cooking experiences on its websites. The platform is also capable of enabling livestreaming video, which the grocery chain intends to implement in the future.
Shoppable video and livestreaming have grown in popularity in the U.S. in recent years, especially since the pandemic has forced customers at various points to shop exclusively from home.
Stateside, livestream shopping has caught on mostly in apparel thus far, where luxury brands such as Rebecca Minkoff have begun leveraging major livestreaming platforms, including Amazon Live and Instagram, for live shopping events. There has also been a proliferation of niche livestream shopping apps. Up until the pandemic, livestream apparel shopping was mainly popular in parts of Asia, but the model recalls interactive television outlets like Home Shopping Network and QVC.
Livestream grocery shopping has also already caught on in Asia and grocers have been generating impressive profits from the model.
A livestream host going by the pseudonym Viya in China managed to sell $100 million GBP (appx. $137 million) in food products on e-commerce platform Taobao, according to an article on The Grocer. Food has emerged as a key driving force for the ongoing growth of livestream commerce in China, allowing rural and remote food producers to reach new customers.
While Albertsons is the first major U.S. grocery chain to utilize this particular short-form video platform, it is not the first grocer in the West to experiment with enhanced video and livestreamed content.
Dutch cheese merchant Kaan in 2017 launched its Kaan’s Stream Store, a livestreamed feed from inside the shop, which allowed customers to watch in-store staff, chat with them live and make orders from home.
RetailWire was unable to access the Kaan’s Stream Store at the time this article was written at the store’s advertised URL, kaansstreamstore.nl, indicating the streaming store is potentially now defunct.
- Albertsons Companies Becomes First National Grocer to Launch Shoppable Video Experiences and Livestream with Firework – Albertsons Companies/Firework/PRNewswire
- Livestreaming: will UK fmcg get in on the Asian foodie shopping craze? – The Grocer
- Can livestreaming make online customers feel like they’re in-store? – RetailWire
- Is the pandemic pushing livestream shopping into the mainstream – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is a partnership with a livestreaming/video platform and the creation of shoppable video content a worthwhile investment for grocery businesses? How can a grocer make the best use of these new kinds of content?