Livestream Shopping Is Here to Stay. Here’s How to Nail the Art of Making Sales Entertaining

5December 2020

Livestream Shopping Is Here to Stay. Here’s How to Nail the Art of Making Sales Entertaining

Thanks to Covid lockdowns, live shopping broadcasts are finally taking off in the U.S. And it isn’t likely to be a fleeting trend.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, if you wanted real-time advice on how to style a trendy Rebecca Minkoff sweater with an equally fashionable handbag, your best bet was to head to a retailer, such as Nordstrom or Bloomingdale’s, and track down a clerk. Post-Covid, Rebecca, the founder of the eponymous brand, will show you herself, right from her closet.

Minkoff is one of many retailers leaning into an e-commerce trend that the pandemic has helped accelerate: Livestream shopping. Think of it as like a QVC broadcast where brands and influencers pitch products but specifically for social media and e-commerce platforms where you can instantly click through to make a purchase.

In China, Livestream shopping is already a massive business, estimated at $63 billion. Thanks to Covid lockdowns, the trend is finally taking off in the U.S. Retailers now have a plethora of platforms to try. GoogleYouTubeAmazonInstagram, and Facebook have all launched live shopping offerings. Meanwhile, venture capital-backed startups NTWRKPopshop LiveShopShopsModa Operandi, and others cater to more niche audiences. Some of these platforms are invite-only; others are open to any company that wants to start broadcasting.

The payoff of making a live, direct pitch to potential customers is real: Minkoff says that generally every live video the brand produces, whether it’s on Amazon or Instagram, generates a 20 percent lift in traffic to its website. Lillebaby, a Golden, Colorado-based maker of baby carriers, has been using Amazon Live since the e-commerce giant rolled out a beta test with select retailers in 2018. On Amazon Prime Day, October 13, the brand says it saw an average video click-through rate of 20 percent, with 9 percent of those viewers making a purchase.

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