Live broadcasts rekindle ‘shoppertainment’ for luxury consumer

Most of us think of washing our face as a private ritual, but for Vicky Tsai, it is now in the public domain. As the founder of Tatcha, a Japanese skin care brand, she recently hosted a “Sensitive Skin Ritual” on Livescale, a live shopping platform.

Sitting in a purple dressing gown, she applies makeup remover to her face while speaking to the audience live. “We always thought of skin care as personal care,” she says in the video. “One of the ways you can make this sweet little ritual into a real self-care ritual for you is to put intention into it. “

Each time a new product is presented on the screen, a “buy button” is accompanied by a product below the video. A promo code offering 20% ​​off purchases can be found in a banner at the bottom of the screen, with an option to add everything to your virtual cart while watching the video and asking Tsai questions through written comments.

This is just one example of a live purchase – it’s like the buying channel is meeting a conversation with your neighbor. While the products are conveniently introduced in video sales, they are anything but advertisements.

Live buying is already a billion dollar industry in China, and according to a report by Coresight Research, the live streaming market is expected to reach $ 25 billion in the United States alone by 2023. Coresight recently hosted an online shopping festival called the 10.10 Shopping Festival, which brought together several fashion brands participating in live shopping.

“American consumers are ready for more engaging and immersive experiences while shopping,” says Deborah Weinswig, Founder and CEO of Coresight Research. “Retailers who adapt to this and do it well will add an exciting new dimension to their online offerings, which provide a way to connect with the consumer on a much deeper level than the anonymity of an online transaction. “

The trend for live shopping is certainly on the rise, especially since Black Friday was different this year as more luxury brands offered deals via live streaming, compared to in-store bargains. . As holiday shopping is in full swing, several luxury brands are climbing aboard, from Saks Fifth Avenue to Swiss cigars and skin care, as well as Instagram Shop, which recently announced its live broadcasts of holiday gifts. run by celebrities under their shopping tab.

“Luxury sales before the pandemic relied on very tactile interactions between an in-store salesperson, but that’s not always possible now,” explains Shikha Jain, partner at Simon-Kucher & Partners, a consulting firm specializing in luxury products. .

“In a remote, virtual environment, live broadcasts are the closest way to replicate that personal experience,” Jain explains.

Whether it’s hearing a founder talk about a company’s history while handling its products, or watching models try on clothes with commentary, it all comes down to storytelling.

“Brands can now control the message instead of relying on a salesperson and dig deeper into the features they want to highlight, like the craftsmanship, design and history of each product,” Jain adds. “Often when consumers buy a luxury item, they anticipate the experience of it. It’s not just a capricious purchase, they want to feel like the seller is really there with them and is taking time with them.

According to the streaming platform Livescale, average sales conversion rates for live streaming products have increased from 9.5% at the same time last year to 17.7% across all industries and verticals. .

Livescale has been used by luxury brands such as L’Oreal, Lancome, Tommy Hilfiger, and Kiehl’s, as well as smaller companies like the Mejuri jewelry brand and the Beekman 1802 beauty brand.

Saks recently launched a live streaming campaign called Saks Live for virtual shopping experiences, paired with style tips. The live broadcast program looks like creative events, almost like a Christmas market, but heavily personalized for each product.

“Live streaming events combined with purchasable content are a great way to bring the excitement that luxury consumers have felt in the shopping environment to life. Saks.

For example, earlier this month, model Ash Walker led a makeup tutorial to help with holiday glamor, and stylist Allison Bornstein hosted a staple holiday event.

“Through Saks Live, we give customers the ability to engage with our brand while participating in real-time interactions with some of the most well-known fashion and lifestyle insiders,” Essner said.

It’s about interacting with the live feed, asking questions, and getting what you need out of a product. This helps reduce the number of returns, as customers can either customize products or explore specific details to see which version of a product is best for them.

Bloomingdale’s also tested the live broadcast, with high-profile virtual events hosted by Jimmy Choo Creative Director Sandra Choi. In a live broadcast, she holds up a pair of rhinestone heels while explaining a campaign: The first 50 people who purchased a pair of the brand’s shoes during or immediately after the live broadcast would receive a personalized fashion sketch as a gift. Thank you (others received gift cards or gift baskets, if they listened to the entire live stream).

Firework purchasing technology is used by Davidoff Cigars, a luxury tobacco brand based in Switzerland that specializes in creating the highest quality cigars for connoisseurs. In a live stream, the cigars are shown from the Taj Mahal in India.

“The types of luxury brands that embark on the adventure include health and beauty care, jewelry brands, watches, and the travel industry has also taken off, especially with luxury resort destinations.” , said Jason Holland, president of global affairs for Firework.

There is usually no “shoppertainment” at travel destinations, but it could help with tourism. “Let’s say I watch a video of purchasable video where I can see a video of each suite I can stay at a resort in St. Lucia; from the bed to the bathroom size and amenities like the pool, spa and restaurants, to the kitchen where chefs prepare gourmet meals, ”says Holland.

Some luxury brands have intimidating boutiques with access and doormen by appointment only. Although exclusive to some, it can scare off potential customers. Even for a flagship product on Madison Avenue, live streaming can make the products accessible to more people.

“Going from a one-to-one to one-to-many interaction allows luxury brands to launch a much larger network to capture potential consumers,” Jain said.

“Finally, it’s about the relevance to millennials and millennials who are digital and social media natives, so brands need to woo and sue them so that these brands are part of the whole. consideration. “