Facebook wants to whet consumers’ appetite for live-streamed shopping with this week’s launch of the “Live Shopping Fridays” series of events, which will see big brands live streaming beauty, skincare and fashion content. weekly. The event begins Friday, May 22nd and runs through mid-July, with broadcasts from brands including Abercrombie and Fitch, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Sephora, Dermalogica, Alleyoop, and Zox.
The events are intended to encourage larger brands to try out live shopping as a medium, as well as generally raise awareness of live shopping on Facebook among consumers.
Brands will use their live shopping events in a number of ways. They can take a behind-the-scenes look at your business or they can partner with creators to showcase their products in ‘how-to’ style videos, for example.
During live broadcasts, viewers can comment and ask questions that brands can read and answer. Buyers can also tap on the products shown in the stream to learn more without having to leave the video. If they want to buy, they can add them to the cart and pay at any time, during or even after the event is over. Brands receive the customer’s shipping information, and if the consumer chooses to participate, they can also get access to other details, such as email and phone numbers.
Buying live video was made available to the public on Facebook last summer, following a series of smaller tests and beta tests, where the format initially found traction among small and medium-sized businesses and leading digital brands, Facebook says. .
More recently, bigger brands like Petco and Bobbi Brown have hosted live shopping events, the first as part of a charity effort and the second featuring a live broadcast with tips from makeup artist Michele Shakeshaft. (In the photo)
“The way we are thinking about this is that e-commerce has made shopping incredibly convenient. So when you have a need, you take out your phone, shop, and your order is on the way, ”explains Yulie Kwon Kim, who leads the Facebook App Commerce product.
“But buying is not buying. And so a lot of what people do is shop windows to see what’s new, to entertain themselves. You discover something great that you did not know. When you’re shopping, people often want to hear a live person, get suggestions, and see the product and the context, ”he says. “And more and more people are discovering and deciding what to buy through social media,” adds Yulie.
It also notes that nearly three-quarters of consumers worldwide get shopping ideas through Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp, and nearly two-thirds agree that social media has now become as important as other sources. of information when making purchasing decisions.
Facebook says that live events will be presented to consumers in a number of ways over the summer. If you follow a brand, you will be notified of their participation. You will also see News Feed announcements where you will be notified when events start (see above). And the Facebook Store tab will offer a schedule of upcoming live shopping streams that will take place across the platform.
Facebook, of course, is not alone in realizing the potential of live shopping.
Startups such as NTWRK, Popshop Live, Talkshoplive, Dote, Bambuser, and others brought the live shopping model already popular in China to the US and other markets, many months before the pandemic. TikTok has been testing live shopping, including with Walmart in the US as well.
Meanwhile, Amazon is streaming live to its website and YouTube announced earlier this year its beta testing of an integrated e-commerce experience.
As for Facebook, a live shopping platform could ultimately serve as a significant source of income, thanks to the sales fees applied at checkout. While Facebook eliminated those sales fees until June 2021, a decision it claims was to help support small businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic, that move also conveniently helps Facebook stake its place in the market. live streaming shopping. Facebook also needs to diversify its revenue, as Apple’s privacy push around third-party tracking will hurt Facebook’s ad business.
Facebook’s Live Shopping Fridays series will be rolling out to both mobile and desktop devices in the US this week, and will also appear on Facebook’s Shop tab for easy access.