Retailers and brands continue to jump on the livestreaming bandwagon, a multi-billion market that is expected to skyrocket in the U.S.
Nordstrom, Macy’s and Avon are among the latest players embracing livestreaming, where consumers can shop real-time while watching live videos. Bluemercury, after seeing tremendous success from its ecommerce business over the past year, is also looking to add livestreaming in 2021.
And the momentum is just beginning.
The U.S. livestreaming market is expected to reach $11 billion by the end of 2021 and hit $25 billion by 2023, according to Coresight Research, a global advisory and research firm. The U.S. is playing catchup to China, where its livestreaming market tracked $150 billion in 2020 and will reach $300 billion in 2021, says Coresight.
“The U.S. is seeing a surge in livestreaming,” says Erin Schmidt, senior analyst at Coresight Research. “We expect more brands and retailers to move very quickly on the livestreaming trend.”
Nordstrom will feature livestream shopping across a variety of categories, including beauty, home and apparel. The retailer kicked off the live shopping videos with a Burberry virtual styling event, showing viewers how to wear the designer’s runway looks. Future events will include a spring beauty trend show with experts from brands like Tom Ford, Giorgio Armani and Clinique and a personal appearance by makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury sharing her “favorite products to create her signature flawless looks.”
“We are excited that livestream shopping will give customers real-time access to Nordstrom employees and brand partners as well as experts in the beauty, fashion, and home categories,” says Fanya Chandler, senior vice president at Nordstrom.
“Our customers have become increasingly digital from discovery to delivery, so we launched livestream shopping to extend our capabilities and serve the customer on their terms.”
Macy’s, meanwhile, presented its first livestream event in March, in collaboration with the app Klarna and Cosmopolitan magazine.
Avon views livestreaming as a way to drive customer engagement, boost representative sales and push the company’s social-selling presence.
The beauty brand’s first live shopping event promoted Avon’s new anti-aging lipstick, “fmg Cashmere Essence Lipcream.” The live segment lasted 30 minutes and focused on educating customers about the lipstick.
“We thought spring 2021 was a great time to launch our first live shopping event because we wanted to introduce our new anti-aging lipstick in a fun new way,” says Jason Sigala, director of events at Avon.
Livestream shopping bridges the gap between online shopping and in-person shopping, Sigala notes.
“It’s fun and dynamic,” Sigala notes. “For Avon, live shopping has created an exciting new way for our representatives to sell and for their customers to shop.”
In an age when some consumers avoid shopping in-stores, livestreaming replicates the in-store experience, Schmidt says.
“It provides a high-touch way of engaging with the consumer which includes video-chat, live selling, consultations and virtual services,” Schmidt says. “Sessions are less scripted providing consumers a more authentic brand representation—which consumers are seeking from brands today.”
Why Livestreaming Works For Retailers And Brands
Livestreaming is often educational, entertaining and informative—featuring a style demonstration or beauty tutorial.
“These product demonstrations help consumers to visualize products, understand selling features and provide consumers with opportunities to ask questions live,” Schmidt says. “Most importantly, consumers are able to seamlessly purchase items during the live-stream.”
Digital is also where the money is.
Brands and retailers are reporting accelerated digital sales in fiscal year 2020—between 40% to 50% of sales on average compared to 20% to 30% in fiscal year 2019 on average, Schmidt says.
“Livestreaming is a selling channel to engage and retain…