4 retailers that show Live Shopping is here to stay
Live Shopping, the online shopping experience that matches a video livestream with the capabilities of a traditional digital store, is seen by many as the hot new trend that will soon gain popularity in the western world. The fact is that Live Shopping isn’t some moon shot for retailers to think about in 10-years’ time, but a reality that’s already part of the strategy of several companies in Latin America. These are four companies that prove Live Shopping is a winning strategy.
Tekmovil is a transnational enterprise that distributes products for several companies in 14 countries. One of them is Xiaomi, a successful cell phone and consumer electronics vendor that has managed to become the third largest cell phone manufacturer in the world, and the sixth largest in México, one of the main markets for Tekmovil.
In 2021, during a yearly celebration called Mi Fan Festival, Tekmovil decided to become the first Mexican company to try Live Shopping, and started a month-and-a-half long process to plan the details of the event.
The first step was deciding the voices that would be involved in the Live Shopping event. Tekmovil settled on three different “characters”: a tech influencer, an official Xiaomi representative and a Mi Fan that was selected via a contest amongst its followers.
Tekmovil sent an email to its entire database promoting the event and conceived an aggressive sale strategy that would be triggered during the transmission. The discounts conceived in this strategy helped close sales of products like cell phones and electric bikes, which have a steeper price than most live shopping offerings.
The results were surprising even for the VTEX Live Shopping division: the event lasted 40 minutes and had an average visualization time of 17 minutes, much higher than the region average of 3 minutes. The average ticket related to Live Shopping was $287 USD which, to date, is the highest average that VTEX has seen amongst any of its partners. The event marked the day with the highest sales since Xiaomi started operating in Mexico.
BSoul is a Chilean sportswear brand focused on women, operated by Grupo Forus, a company with more than 21 years of experience in the Latin American retail industry. Its story within the ecommerce space is much younger, starting in 2013, but nonetheless the group has been looking for ways to grow its reach ever since.
The company also jumped into the Live Shopping trend last August to a huge audience response. BSoul’s 45-minute transmission gathered 4,000 viewers and translated into a 197% increase in invoicing and a 206% increase in orders. During this hour, the number of website visits grew by 226%, whereas the conversion rate also increased by 205%.
“These functionalities give us new ways to deliver different experiences. This point of direct contact with consumers is something that we didn’t have before, and that’s what we’re mainly looking for: different and better ways to share and interact with customers.”Juan Cristobal Donoso, Ecommerce Manager at Focus Chile
Agua Bendita is a Colombian swimwear company that has been operating its ecommerce channels on VTEX since 2019. In the meantime, it has increased its website visits by 200% and its sales by 120%.
The company became a trendsetter in Colombia when it organised one of the first Live Shopping events in the country last August. The event gathered 1,822 unique visitors and generated over $4,000 USD in sales during its transmission, with an average ticket of $120 USD.
The event was set up as a way to promote the 2021 collection, but it also had an impact in the sales of products from previous collections, which were bought alongside the newest ones.
Grupo Éxito is one of the biggest retailers in South America. In Colombia it manages the Éxito, Carulla, Super Inter, Surtimax, Surtimayorista and Viva brands; in Uruguay it manages Grupo Disco and Grupo Devoto; and in Argentina it manages Libertad and Paseo.
The company experienced phenomenal ecommerce growth in the last couple of years, and made the conscious decision to keep innovating and find new ways to take advantage of ecommerce, instead of just trusting the current momentum. A clear way to chase this innovation was through Live Shopping.
Éxito realized that Live Shopping’s success didn’t necessarily rely on high production values or other big investments, but in the ability to talk to your audience in an engaging way.
“We saw that it wasn’t the typical model where you have a five-star influencer, but just regular people, sometimes in a warehouse, and they were able to nicely present the products. This allowed us to break down barriers and realize that live shopping is something that even the clothing manufacturer itself can do, and we had to try it.”Andrés Acosta, Chief of Entrepreneurship Initiatives at Grupo Éxito
To date, the company has held live shopping events in people’s dining rooms and closets, even hosting a 9-year old girl talk about toys for 45 minutes! This has led to great numbers, with audiences that have surpassed 5,000 people with a session average of 17 minutes. Live shopping streams have also brought around $8,000 USD of sales above daily average.
The Éxito model depends on collaborating with other brands. Today, the retailer allocates every live shopping time slot available one month in advance, and their partners have included world renowned companies such as LG, Oster, Hisense, Remington, Whirlpool and iRobot.
The power of Live Shopping
Live Shopping has proved that it’s a tool capable of helping ecommerce operations regardless of the type of product being sold. This help doesn’t just depend on the amount of money invested in the transmissions. Instead, the success of Live Shopping is clearly related to the ability of every company to develop a strategy that can drive engagement amongst its current and potential customers, with the offer of added value and a quality product.
So far, there are few companies that are willing to bet on this trend, but results in Latin America show that Live Shopping might be an underutilized tool in western countries, where there’s an important number of customers eager to experience “the next big thing”. Sure enough, projections show that Live Shopping will grow in popularity and that, ultimately, it’s here to stay.