• Retail Dive

Livestreaming popularity expected to grow in 2021: Coresight Research

Dive Brief:

  • As the pandemic continues to keep some shoppers away from physical stores, Coresight Research projects livestreaming to be a top trend in 2021, with the market expected to reach $6 billion this year and $25 billion by 2023.

  • Already a multi-billion-dollar industry in China, a recent Coresight report identifies livestreaming as a tool marketers and brands can use to connect with their consumers and boost revenue.

  • A Coresight survey of U.S. consumers in March shows that 80.6% of respondents used social media platforms. Among social media users, 60% integrate social platforms into their shopping process.

Dive Insight:

Livestreaming is gaining popularity among brands and consumers as it offers a more immersive shopping experience.

Coresight's research indicates that brands can extend their reach to more consumers, some of which may not have access to the store due to geographical reasons, through livestreaming.

In China, where influencers have gained immense popularity through livestreaming, the market is expected to grow to $305 billion in 2021, according to KPMG and research firm AliResearch cited by Coresight.

"Although US retailers can take learnings from China, they will need to adapt livestreaming e-commerce strategies to US market conditions to effectively engage consumers and drive sales," Coresight's report said.

The trend has only heightened during the pandemic when consumers were encouraged to stay at home, and nonessential retailers were forced to close doors. The report highlighted beauty brand Estée Lauder's 60% online sales growth in the first quarter of 2021 as a result of its improved digital services like shoppable livestreams and digital consultations.

"We expect live, digital consultations to become increasingly popular among consumers due to the convenience and personalization that the format provides," the report said. "The service is likely to be a key competitive differentiator for brands and retailers to attract new customers moving forward."

Through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, brands can use livestreaming to tap into a younger demographic. Last December, Walmart worked alongside TikTok influencers for a first-of-its-kind shoppable livestream on the platform. The company later reported that the event had seven times as many views than its original estimates and increased the retailer's TikTok presence by 25%.

Nordstrom also joined the livestream market in March with a series of virtual events. The first event had shoppable content and featured fashion designer turned stylist José Ramón Reyes who demonstrated ways to style Burberry pieces.

Coresight's report also encourages having charismatic hosts or celebrities to drive traffic. Among U.S. consumers who use social media as part of their purchasing process, 47.9% follow influencers and celebrities on these platforms. Creating a sense of urgency and scarcity may also increase consumer excitement and conversion.

"In adopting livestreaming, retailers should look to build lasting relationships with viewers, starting from targeting the right customers and connecting to them through the appropriate platform or channel," researchers said in the report.

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