Is the pandemic pushing livestream shopping into the mainstream?
A form of online shopping that is popular elsewhere in the world may finally be catching on stateside, aided by pandemic-era stay-at-home habits.
Livestream shopping may be on the verge of making significant inroads in America, Inc. reports. Major brands have picked up on the strategy as a way to both engage with and sell directly to a customer base that’s largely locked down. The selling model resembles that of HSN and other cable television shopping services. Hosts promote products to be purchased immediately by viewers with a few simple clicks.
Popular accessible luxury brand Rebecca Minkoff has begun livestreaming on Amazon Live and Instagram. Ms. Minkoff, the company founder, promotes products during the events. The brand reports a 20 percent sales lift for the featured products, regardless of the platform used for the streaming event.
Other vendors have reported similar success. Owlet, a baby care brand, reported a nine to 16 percent sales increase during the week when it was piloting a livestreamed sales event on Amazon.
There has also been a wave of livestreaming shopping platforms popping up in the U.S., including apps like Livby, Moda Operandi, NTWRK, PopShop Live, Shoclef, Shoclef and ShopShops. Some of these services are targeted at particular niches rather than general shoppers. Others are invite-only, and some already have appreciable global presences.
The model has yet to approach the level of penetration that it has experienced in China where two-thirds of customers say they have purchased something via livestreaming in the last 12 months, according to CNBC.
While it is easy to see why this new form of interactive infomercial is proving ideal for a pandemic-era audience, it is not without its hurdles for businesses.
For instance, there is typically a learning curve for creating livestream-appropriate content and an accompanying strategy that successfully incentivizes customers to purchase products they are unable to trial, as a recent letter to the South China Morning Post notes.
- Livestream Shopping Is Here to Stay – Inc.
- Rebecca Minkoff – Amazon Live
- We Tried Out Amazon Live. Here’s How it Influenced Sales – Pattern
- Singles Day sales to get tremendous lift from livestream events, as U.S. retailers play catch-up – CNBC
- Why live-stream e-commerce is a doubled-edged sword – South China Morning Post
- Will livestream shopping take off in the U.S.? – RetailWire
- Can experiential retail go live and online? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see livestreaming being part of mainstream shopping in the U.S. after the pandemic has passed? What steps should retailers take to create their own livestreaming presence?