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Brief Published: 15 May 2020

Three More Brands Betting on Video Commerce

Live commerce

More brands are rolling out video shopping in a bid to connect face-to-face with consumers while pandemic-hit stores are closed. UK electronics retailer Currys PC World and Australian skincare brand Aesop have both introduced live chat options to their customers, while British luxury department store Harrods will roll out a remote clienteling service.

Echoing the already unleashed concepts we describe in the Virtual Consultations: New Era Phygital Lifelines section of Covid-19 & Beyond: Leveraging Live-Stream Commerce, Currys PC World has partnered with UK video commerce technologists Go Instore to connect customers stuck in lockdown with similarly stuck-at-home store assistants who are deemed experts in certain product categories. Go Instore reports a 90% uptick in sessions across the UK, Europe, Asia and United States since the beginning of the pandemic.  

Cult brand Aesop, renowned for the soothing ambience of its stores and penchant for an intellectual approach to haute beauty (see our report Winning Beauty Destinations), is offering 30-minute one-to-one video consultations with its staff. Fans are required to book the live consultations ahead of time before connecting with an assistant, who will then provide product advice and perform product demonstrations on video.

Harrods’ remote clienteling service will be run via both smartphone messaging and phone calls, connecting with highly valued customers who already have one-to-one relationships with individual store staff. The small number of staff involved will be based at the Knightsbridge store, adhering to social-distancing guidelines while able to access product.

The initiative, which is the first part of Harrods’ plan to reopen the store in phases as lockdown restrictions ease, is something the brand is intending to test with a view to potentially extending the service to greater numbers of customers at a later date. 

For more on advanced clienteling and customer outreach, see Tech-Flex: Retail’s Omni-Era Workforce, part of our Liquid Retail and The Work/Life Revolution series.