In 2018, the live video shopping market was worth Â£ 3.35 billion, fast forwarding to 2020 and the year of the pandemic, more and more luxury retailers ventured into shopping experiences. ‘live purchase with the aim of capturing those who are stuck at home during the lockdown.
Now that Covid-19 restrictions across the globe are loosening as the world returns to ‘normal’, is it possible that the live streaming elements once embraced by brands are gradually phasing out or are they now here to stay? to stay ?
Danny Stefanic, managing director of 3D virtual event platform MootUp, said that during the Covid pandemic, live streaming was “a brilliant way to keep consumers engaged at a time when, for most businesses, , the carpet was actually pulled under their feet. “
âFor most of the retailers who relied so heavily on physical branches, going digital was a quick and efficient way to respond to this,â he said. Retail Gazette.
As the world returns to business and retailers test a more hybrid working model, Stefanic said live streaming elements will no doubt remain, but we’ll start to see even more innovative ways to engage audiences. and stay one step ahead.
“Ultimately, fashion is on a collision course with digital fashion”
Deborah Aitken, senior industry analyst for global luxury goods at Bloomberg Intelligence, agreed and said the live streaming would not be removed, even when stores reopen.
Aitken explained that during the pandemic, businesses have invested in digital and omnichannel experiences and we may see this trend drive growth in addition to their traditional channels over the next few years.
Key examples include Watches of Switzerland, which continued to meet online, via video and phone calls, while the Kering brands are adapting their marketing and communication strategies by adding direct online shopping, such as Gucci Live.
âLikewise, LVMH’s Sephora introduced direct purchasing with specialized support,â Aitken added.
âPrada and Moncler are among the companies that have released their Fashion Week collection online and have held concurrent events in Milan and China.
âOther brands offer live streaming of events and product launches with the ability to seamlessly switch to their online platform to buy internationally. “
As more retailers try to attract as many new customers as possible, whether through social media or online, Michael Levitz, chief commercial officer at strategy, design and engineering firm Reaktor, said explained that âlive shopping is the next evolution in what it really means to connect with a consumer. “
âFans keep coming back frequently – and not just when they want to research or buy,â Levitz said.
âOnline shopping works because it’s about creating a stronger emotional connection with brands, products and people.
He explained that the hyper-personalization of these shopping events, each focused on specific interests, is what makes them so effective.
In early 2020, Gucci launched its Gucci Live virtual shopping service with a focus on the individual shopping experience at a Gucci store., allowing customers to interact in real time with the brand’s customer advisers.
In more recent news, Telfar, a retailer that has become cult thanks to celebrities such as BeyoncÃ© donning her clothes and bags, announced the launch of Telfar.TV where viewers can watch the 24-hour public access station. live on their own television.
By watching the channel, customers can get QR codes for targeted discounts featuring items available exclusively on the network, like the retailer’s new duffel bag.
Levitz said the reason direct shopping is becoming so popular is that it makes e-commerce more human; especially for mission-driven brands.
âIt’s also a great way for retailers to tap into the influencer marketing arena if they haven’t already.
For retailers who choose to board the live train, how can these experiences translate into sales?
Nikki Baird, vice president of retail innovation at retail technology provider Aptos said thethe inks do all the work.
“Experiential shopping has taken place in the online domain”
âBoth to boost purchases of whatever is featured, but also to raise awareness and send people looking for related items,â she said.
Baird revealed that during shutdowns, retailers selling in China were selling 50,000 units of an item one hour after five minutes in a livestream.
She explained that even though China is a bit extreme due to its high adoption for both the use of video as a purchasing medium and mobile adoption, it still gives a sense of the potential.
âFor some brands, that would be the equivalent of an entire season of units – in an hour,â Baird added.
While there are any companies that still doubt the benefits that live streaming can bring, Melissa Minkow, head of retail strategy at software company CI&T, explained that live streaming has embedded its value through several attributes.
âFirst of all, it’s downright entertaining. In our increasingly virtual and gamified world, consumers want and expect to be entertained by brands all the time, âMinkow said.
âSecond, it’s educational in that it’s designed to demonstrate all of a product’s use cases, while also answering a consumer’s questions as they arise.
âThe third quality of live broadcasting is its ability to create a sense of community. Along with the mutual visibility of other buyers, there is a social aspect that we might otherwise miss on the digital path to purchase.
Finally, Minkow spoke about the sense of urgency that surrounds the live broadcast.
âKnowing that you can’t see the launch, the exclusive offering, or the real-time content later ignites a fire in the hearts and wallets of buyers.
âGiven these four pillars of value, it’s no wonder that live streaming is emerging as a must-have relationship building strategy for retailers. “