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Brief Published: 4 Jul 2018

From China to the US, Live Commerce is Impacting Retail

Harvey Nichols x Hero

Live commerce is maturing into a fully fledged phenomenon. Stylus outlines three ways the trend is developing, bringing together online consumers with sales associates, product launches and retail spaces.

  • Personal In-Store Connections: London/NYC retail tech start-up Hero connects online shoppers with in-store staff through a chat and live-stream platform, as detailed in our report Reflexive Retail: Live, Emotional & On-Demand. In June 2018, British department store Harvey Nichols, an early adopter of the software, expanded its partnership with Hero throughout all its stores. Harvey Nichols reports that its customers using Hero are five times more likely to purchase than those who don’t use it – and they spend more (Digiday, 2018).

  • Weekly Instagram Drops: US direct-to-consumer footwear brand M.Gemi broadcasts a live Instagram Story each Monday to introduce new limited-edition styles. After the first five clips, M.Gemi reported that Instagram followers had increased by 11% and sales overall were up 20%. The show isn’t shoppable, but we expect Instagram’s parent company Facebook to introduce direct purchasing via live streams in the future. See more in Monetising Social Media 2018.

  • Localising Far-Flung Shops: Live shopping is flourishing in China. Among the most promising platforms is ShopShops, which leverages fascination with Western brands by broadcasting influencer-hosted shows from American stores. Per-show sales have reached up to $30,000. “Live streaming in this way creates one-to-one moments at scale, while also providing transparency and reassurance in a market awash with counterfeits,” says Stefanie Dorfer, editor of Retail at Stylus. See Unmasking Engagement: Asian Beauty Now for more.