Modern Retail

Whether To Discount During Live Shopping Events

Live Shopping Events

Live shopping is among the hottest topics in retail, yet it’s so new that data-based insights and strategic counsel remain hard to find for markets outside of China, where the phenomenon has been in full effect for years. Still, we’re heading toward the busiest shopping months of the year, which extend from back to school through holiday, and as brands and retailers roll out their marketing plans, there’s a definite hunger for real, actionable information.

With nearly two years of experience powering live shopping programs for organizations in the West, Bambuser now has access to information on the performance of live events for a broad array of brands over a significant amount of time, and for the first time, we’re able to delve into the data to bring to brands and retailers new insights to help optimize their video commerce activities during this critical period. 

For this deep dive, we wanted to examine the data around one of the questions we are most frequently asked – should I, or should I not, offer a special discount to viewers of our live events?  

To find the answer, we looked at a sample set consisting of nine brands representing a range of verticals and geographies who had all been running shows with and without discounts for more than eight months. We then compared the combined averages across critical performance indicators for the events with coupon codes and without. 

Live shopping event findings

What we found was a strong correlation between lifts in the KPIs and special promotion offers. 

  • Average order value (AOV): +7 percent
  • Conversion rates (CR): +17 percent
  • Total sales: +60 percent
  • Average sales per viewer: +55 percent
  • Engagement (chats/likes): +49 percent

But correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation, and Bambuser saw significant variations in impact from retailer to retailer as well as show to show. This indicates that promotional offers are just one of numerous factors impacting show performance. 

To help other brands build successful livestream shopping strategies, Social commerce premium athleisure and basics brand Peach, whose pivot from in-person to Live Video Shopping experiences is among Bambuser’s most successful cases, offered to share some best practices based on their experiences. 

First is simply to start livestreaming. Janet Kraus, Peach’s co-founder and CEO, encourages any marketer who is serious about building a brand on connection, community, fun and service to lean into live shopping. Once you’ve started, here are additional tips to elevate the value of  live shopping events: 

Tips to add value to live shopping events

  1. Create a sense of urgency and excitement: In addition to promoting upcoming events in pre-marketing emails, instagram story posts and other social media, leverage a countdown clock on your site to maximize anticipation. After the event, continue to promote the replay leveraging compelling and still-relevant content. 
  2. Include a variety of hosts and guests: You can easily expand your audience and increase virality by inviting different people to participate in each of your live shopping segments. Not only will their reach expose entirely different networks to your brand, it will help keep the content fresh, even for regulars.
  3. Select topics for which the live component adds value: Build shows with elements that can’t be recreated in a typical e-commerce experience. For example, you can attract a larger audience and generate more excitement with styling sessions. tutorials and segments showing items on  models of different sizes.  
  4. Feature products that look best on camera: When selecting the product mix, consider products for which details will be highly visible on screen. For example, choose a colored legging on which the seaming and design features are more prominent instead of the same legging in black. You can always showcase additional colorways as a thumbnail image to ensure shoppers know they’re available. 
  5. Keep your chat box active: Interactivity is among the top reasons people love live shopping, so make sure you have someone focused on engaging with attendees and answering questions in the live chat. The more lively the conversation, the more excited, energized and likely to buy your audience will be.

For Peach, Live Video Shopping has been transformative for their business, essentially “cracking the code” on creating interactive, social selling experiences that drive conversion rates that are wildly better than the brand had achieved with traditional text and image-based e-commerce.

As we continue building our data- and customer bases, we look forward to uncovering additional insights so they, too, can find new levels of success with this exciting technology. 

By Emma Lythell, Vice President of Global Sales, Bambuser

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Holly Worthington

Holly brings a wealth of experience in both print and digital publishing. As Modern Retail's Content Editor, Holly is passionate about helping independent retailers to thrive in today's ever-changing market.