Shopping goes live(stream)

What do you get when you mix retail shutdowns with consumers bored in their homes spending time on social media? Shoppertainment. AliExpress, an online retail service owned by Alibaba in China explains, this concept “blurs the lines between e-commerce, entertainment and everyday lifestyle, engaging consumers in a highly immersive and interactive experience, such as live-streaming events, pictures, videos, and interactive games, to ultimately drive transactions.” Simple, yet effective, e-commerce livestreaming resonates with young consumers who are already online, eager to be entertained by influencers and ready to spend now that Millennials and Gen Zs are starting to feel more optimistic about their financial prospects, as reported in Cassandra’s March report, Risk/Reward Calculus. A range of retail stores, fashion and beauty brands are adopting this marketing strategy, collaborating with social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and top influencers. The ‘shoppertainment’ scene is already seeing new platforms emerge like Shop LIT Live to get in on the trend. The e-commerce livestream market is expected to surpass $25 billion by 2023. Read below to learn about a few recent livestream shopping campaigns.


Nordstrom has entered the livestream chat with its own streaming channel, Nordstrom Live, to give consumers a chance to interact with a brand via smartphone. The department store chain has a full calendar of livestream events planned, ranging from fashion, to beauty, to fitness. Some highlights from the past month include a Burberry virtual styling session which showcased the designer’s runway collections, a collab with Outdoor Voices to bring participants two days of live dance classes, and even a virtual home fragrance class with the founder of NEST Fragrances. Bonus: all past streams stay posted for those who missed out on the live event.


TikTokers can now use the platform for livestream shopping events with brands like Walmart, who saw major success in their livestream pilot in late 2020. Users who watched the TikTok livestream were able to shop Walmart’s fashion items directly through the app’s “shoppable product” feature. The brand recently hosted another shoppable event on the platform “Spring Shop-Along: Beauty Edition,” which brought in 7x more views than expected and boosted the brand’s userbase on the platform by 25%.


Personal care company Dermalogica has been using a range of shoppable livestreams to get the word out about their new skincare products. The brand has been tapping into skincare experts and beauty influencers, such as YouTube beauty guru Jackie Aina, who helped introduce the brand’s new neck serum. The brand also offered a free gift with purchase to inspire sales. Livestreams via Vimeo, Instagram, and Bambuser are giving Dermalogica the chance to connect with consumers while simultaneously providing a seamless skincare shopping experience.