Need to Know
- Both brands are using livestreamed product demos featuring models, influencers. and celebrities to sell goods online.
- Live shopping events appeal to customers who may still be uncomfortable visiting physical stores, due to COVID-19.
- Hilfiger attracted over 14 million shoppers to a livestream event held in China earlier this year and sold out of 1,300 hoodies in less than two minutes.
- Streamed shopping events, which are popular in China, are predicted to generate $25 billion in sales in the U.S. by 2023.
Consumer brands in the U.S. are taking a new approach to reach potential buyers, with fashion retailers such as Levi Strauss and Tommy Hilfiger launching QVC-style livestreamed product demos in order to engage a customer demographic that’s more comfortable than ever shopping from home.
The online live streams feature influencers, celebrities, and models wearing and discussing apparel. Customers can ask questions of hosts and guests during the livestream and can purchase the items they see being modeled. Levi Strauss & Co. has been hosting live events on Amazon since 2018 and is preparing to stream a live show this month. A Hilfiger live stream this month attracted more than 12,000 viewers; in August, the brand attracted 14 million viewers to a live stream in China, and as a result sold out of 1,300 hoodies in two minutes.
Live streams are often directly shoppable: users can add items they see during the live stream to a shopping cart and check out once the stream is over.
This style of shopping, which mirrors traditional home shopping channels such as QVC, is already popular in China. But due to a shift in shopping habits due to the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers are looking for unique ways to sell their products online. And research indicates that live stream shopping is on the uptick: according to Coresight Research, online sales events such as live streams will generate $25 billion annually by 2023.
Indeed, livestream shopping has spiked in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic. In July, Swarovski announced it would be hosting shoppable live streams just over a week after L’Oreal revealed it would be doing the same to sell color cosmetics and beauty products. And last month, Armani revealed it would be teaming up with Ottawa-based Overlay.TV to launch shoppable, interactive videos. Google, meanwhile, launched its own video-shopping platform, Shoploop, in July.