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Online influencer marketing 2.0: Live stream shopping

Live stream shopping is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world of ecommerce. While gaining momentum in the west, the digital phenomenon’s popularity in Asia is staggering. Chinese influencer Li Jiaqi (“The King of Lipstick”) once sold 15,000 lipsticks in 5 minutes, and top live streamer Viya sold 150,000 bottles of perfume in just a matter of seconds. Can western brands replicate the same success?

The industry is growing in different shapes and forms. American tech giants are mimicking the Chinese live stream shopping platforms by providing shoppable live videos all collected on their own platform. While Amazon, Facebook, etc. go head-to-head, a frontrunner has yet to emerge. At Bambuser, a different methodology is driving the growth of live video shopping. By building state-of-the-art technology for retailers to implement on their own platforms, Bambuser gives the brand full control over the data related to their live video experience.

Why influencer marketing

The key to live stream shopping is a dynamic and engaging host. If that host has a following of their own, even better.

“Brands are tapping into a new sales channel by letting the influencers who know their audience talk to them and guide them,” said Bambuser CCO Sophie Abrahamsson when interviewed by Vogue Business.

As a result, a whole new type of influencer is emerging. Brand requests for talent to host live streams are surging, says Hilary Williams Dunlap, senior vice president of talent at Digital Brands Architects. “More brands are seeing the reward in engagement and conversation, especially when there is a call-to-action from an influential creator as the host,” she explains. 

Three luxury brand retailers have achieved remarkable success in combining influencer marketing and live stream shopping: Luisaviaroma, Clinique, and Frame. And what else do these brands have in common? They all use Bambuser’s live shopping software to boost sales. 

Brands and influencers

Luisaviaroma: Italian luxury retailer Luisaviaroma broadcasted four high profile live streams last year, during New York Fashion Week, Paris FW, and Milan FW, as well as a top-performing stream hosted by influencer Matilda Djerf (1.3m followers on Instagram). The streams resulted in a huge boost to sales, with several products being entirely sold out. According to Leah Anita Cavazzini, influencer marketing specialist at Luisaviaroma, the broadcast is not just a necessity due to the pandemic. It’s also a great tool to help better track ROI through product sales and engagement. With the available data, Luisaviaroma measures three KPIs: brand awareness, product sales, and engagement. 

Clinique: Last year, the beauty brand premiered a live stream with Emilia Clarke (27.2m followers on Instagram), their first-ever global brand ambassador. In this highly successful show, the celebrity shared her own skincare and makeup getting ready routine, taking customer engagement to a whole new level. 

Frame: Celebrity fashion stylist Dani Michelle (192,000 Instagram followers) and award-winning fashion and beauty journalist Zanna Robert Rassi (167,000 followers) hosted live streams for Los Angeles fashion label Frame. “To be able to connect with Frame fans and offer our customers a taste of our process is where we see success,” says brand co-founder Jens Grade.

Measuring success

The numbers speak for themselves, live stream shopping is becoming an integral part of the growth strategy of any online retailer.

In the first half of 2020, the reported average Bambuser-supported live stream watch time was 11.18 minutes. Additionally, 12 percent of the viewers added at least one item to their shopping cart. The results in the beauty industry are particularly successful, with an average add-to-cart rate of 36 percent. 

While influencer-hosted live streams cost significantly more than a simple post, there is a growing consensus that it’s worth it. The challenge is to find the right influencer for the right product and to create engaging shopping experiences with a compelling storyline.

Read the full article on Vogue Business (article behind paywall)

Online influencer marketing 2.0: Live stream shopping