Is Livestream Shopping The Next Big Shopping Phenomenon?

If you're a retailer preparing for holiday 2021, you may want to know about this.
SIA Team
July 27, 2021

There’s a relatively new type of shopping trend that, although still in the experimental stages, is quickly becoming established.

If you embrace this opportunity, you can bring your customers some of the dynamics of the indoor shopping experience…without them having to leave home.

Imagine this:

It’s mid-2021, and while restrictions are lifting, there are still limitations to where you can go. You’d really like to go shopping at one of your favorite stores, such as Abercrombie & Fitch.

Then, you hear that Abercrombie & Fitch is hosting something on Facebook called a Live Shopping Event (part of Facebook’s Live Shopping Fridays initiative).

You’re not sure exactly what this event will be or what to expect. But, despite your online fatigue, you decide to give it a try.

At the time of the event, you log on, and find that it’s a professionally-created event, shot from what could be an Abercrombie storefront.

Immediately, that look and feel reminds you of the last Abercrombie you shopped at…so many months ago.

On this Livestream, the central focus is someone whom you know as an influencer, and displayed behind them is a selection of apparel that you recognize.

Another thing you notice is that, like most Livestream events, this one is interactive, so you can ask questions about the various products on display.

You can even ask the influencer, who wears the same dress size as you, to try on something so you can see how it looks.

What I just described to you is a Livestream shopping event, which is part of a relatively new vernacular in online retail: social shopping or social commerce.

Recently, the Total Retail podcast featured Megan Brophy of Abercrombie & Fitch and Abercrombie Kids. She described being presented with an opportunity from Facebook: the ability to be one of the first brands to engage in Facebook’s Live Shopping initiative.

Abercrombie jumped on the opportunity, and it’s been quite beneficial for them and their customers.

Live shopping events are interactive, so they offer some of the human-to-human dynamics that you get with in-store shopping. This, blended with online retail, makes for a pleasant shopping experience for those who like the convenience of shopping from home, with a little bit of that human touch that we’ve missed.

And Abercrombie is not the only brand trying social shopping: YouTube announced a test pilot with selected creators, the Washington Post said the future of retail looks “a lot like QVC,” and Walmart has hosted at least one livestream event with TikTok.

As you can imagine, there are some equipment requirements involved: a team, lighting, a personality, a solid internet connection, and streaming software are a few that come to mind.

If you’re a growing retailer who’s looking for novel ways to reach your audience in the post-covid-19 world, social commerce is something to consider.

Source: Total Retail