Your Post-Pandemic Retail Survival: Convergence of 2 Trends May Show the Way

You need to sell. There’s a demand for contactless shopping. Gen Z watches a lot of video. There’s a convergence.
SIA Team
August 16, 2021

Last week, Google for Startups made a tweet about a woman who, in 2019, saw an opportunity that turned out to be prophetic.

The woman’s name is Hanna Kim, and she saw that there was growing video consumption among the Gen Z generation (and I’d say that this can be extrapolated to most of the other generational groups).

So, an opportunity came to her: bridge that fact with retailers’ obvious desire to sell their products

That led to Grip, which is a South Korean-based app that aims to bring consumers and businesses together via live commerce (or what I, in a previous news item, termed livestream shopping).

At first, in 2019, Kim had a hard time communicating the necessity of Grip.

But then…

The Pandemic and Convergence of 2 Trends

We all know what happened in 2020, and continues to reverberate around the world to this day. 

The 2 trends I alluded to in the title were: 

One: people spending a lot more time at home watching videos (and probably not wanting to go out), 

Two: retailers’ need to continue selling, which led to the emergence of livestream shopping (and Grip is probably the example I’ve read of where this model was in place before the pandemic). 

And that’s why, in the opening of this article, I said that Kim’s vision was prophetic. Whereas Grip may have been doing okay pre-pandemic, in 2020 and beyond, people began to really appreciate it, and it’s grown by leaps and bounds since then. 

Thankfully, she joined Google for Startups’ 8-week mentorship program, Immersion: Women Founders program, which, as you’d guess, is a program designed for women entrepreneurs. It helped Kim face the leadership challenges that come with growing a successful company.

An Example of Livestream Shopping

As I mentioned, Grip is a platform that enables contactless shopping via live streaming. 

Let’s say that you’re a retailer who sells…baking supplies. 

Let’s also say that you have a bit of a following online.

What you do is invite your followers, newsletter subscribers, etc. to an event you’ll be holding–a livestream event.

During this event, you’ll be demonstrating a number of your baking equipment, such as how well the neatest non-stick frying pan works, and all the latest baking technology that your followers will love. 

Of course, you have a kitchen setting and good lighting for this event. You may need a few cell phone cameras, as well.

Everything you demonstrate is on sale, and viewers can buy, interact, ask questions, and if there are past customers, they can leave reviews.

That’s basically what a livestream shopping event is like. 

I hope you can see how it’s a convergence of the 2 trends, namely, the growth of ecommerce and the increased time that people spend online. 

So, if you’re a retailer who sells products that can be described and demonstrated visually, perhaps contactless shopping via livestream commerce is something to consider. 

Source: Google for Startups