Livestream Shopping Is Here to Stay. Here’s How to Nail the Art of Making Sales Entertaining

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, if you wanted real-time advice on how to style a trendy Rebecca Minkoff sweater with an equally fashionable handbag, your best bet was to head to a retailer, such as Nordstrom or Bloomingdale’s, and track down a clerk. Post-Covid, Rebecca, the founder of the eponymous brand, will show you herself, right from her closet.

Minkoff is one of many retailers leaning into an e-commerce trend that the pandemic has helped accelerate: livestream shopping. Think of it like a QVC broadcast where brands and influencers pitch products but specifically for social media and e-commerce platforms where you can instantly click through to make a purchase. 

In China, livestream shopping is already a massive business, estimated at $63 billion. Thanks to Covid lockdowns, the trend is finally taking off in the U.S. Retailers now have a plethora of platforms to try. Google, YouTube, Amazon, Instagram, and Facebook have all launched live shopping offerings. Meanwhile, venture capital-backed startups NTWRK, Popshop Live, ShopShops, Moda Operandi, and others cater to more niche audiences. Some of these platforms are invite-only; others are open to any company who wants to start broadcasting.     

The payoff of making a live, direct pitch to potential customers is real: Minkoff says that generally every live video the brand produces, whether it’s on Amazon or Instagram, generates a 20 percent lift in traffic to its website. Lillebaby, a Golden, Colo.-based maker of baby carriers, has been using Amazon Live since the e-commerce giant rolled out a beta test with select retailers in 2018. On Amazon Prime Day Oct. 13, the brand says it saw an average video click-through rate of 20 percent, with 9 percent of those viewers making a purchase. 

To find out what it takes to succeed on livestream shopping platforms, Inc. spoke with both the entrepreneurs using them and the ones who created them. 

1. Figure out what your audience finds compelling. 

“We’re in the business of entertainmentizing retail,” says Aaron Levant, founder of Los Angeles-based NTWRK, a live shopping platform launched in 2018 that focuses specifically on curated product drops. NTWRK, whose audience is about 75 percent male, saw its revenue double between March and April. The platform features only products that can’t be found elsewhere, so retailers benefit from exclusivity and scarcity as part of the sales pitch.

The most successful product drops on his platform are the ones that have a great story, Levant says.

“Does it matter? Is anyone going to give a shit? Does it evoke an audible reaction?,” he says. He recommends that brands experiment with, say, showing the process of how a product is made or even pulling back the curtain on your own struggle as an entrepreneur. 

Minkoff says her customers want something much more practical: “Our girl wants to know the good, the bad, the ugly about the bag,” she says. “She wants the goods and wants to know where buy them and at what price.”

Lillebaby does a mix of content, from baby-carrier fit

Read more

Japan’s Richest Person Sees Wealth Cross $41 Billion As Fashion Sales Rebound In Japan And China

The net worth of Japan’s wealthiest person, Tadashi Yanai, the billionaire behind everyday fashion brand Uniqlo, touched a peak of $41.6 billion this week, spurred by a shopping frenzy for Uniqlo’s pandemic-friendly clothes from masks to tracksuits.

Yanai’s fortune was buoyed by a 114% rise in shares of flagship Fast Retailing since March, when they fell amid a pandemic-induced global sell-off. Yanai, who has a 47% stake in the world’s third-largest clothing retailer, has more than doubled his fortune since Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list where he was ranked No. 41 with a net worth of $19.7 billion.

Fast Retailing owns the Uniqlo brand in addition to brands like Theory, Helmut Lang, J Brand and GU. Analysts attribute the stock jump to the company’s new digital strategies and its focus on practical, everyday clothing, preferred by those working from home.

“Sales are good due to its product lines fitting the stay-at-home demand,” says Dairo Murata, senior analyst at JP Morgan in Tokyo. “Fast Retailing has always been promoting the ‘LifeWear’ concept, and selling clothes which fit the work-from-home style well.”

The Japanese retailer–which has more than 3,600 stores across 26 markets spanning Asia, North America and Europe–offers the LifeWear range which it promotes as “simple” and “high quality everyday clothing.” It also incorporates proprietary technologies like “Heattech,” which converts moisture to warmth and is currently used in everything from loungewear to T-shirts and socks. Another notable feature is its “AIRism” technology, which keeps the fabric breathable and is currently used in its range of cloth masks. The triple-layer AIRism masks with bacterial filters, which were rolled out in June in Japan were quickly snapped up by hordes of online and offline customers.

However, Fast Retailing’s annual revenues and profits took a hit due to the closure of stores during the pandemic. It reported a 12% drop in annual revenues to 2 trillion yen, or $19 billion, for the year ended August 31, 2020 and a 44% drop in its net profit to $853 million. Uniqlo shut nearly half of its 748 stores in China in January–reopening them in late April. In Japan, 311 of its 817 stores were shuttered in late March and reopened in early May.

Despite these store closures, the Japan Uniqlo business was a bright spot in an otherwise down year. It recorded a 2% increase in profits even as revenue rose 20% year on year in the June to August quarter. Japan Uniqlo sales were boosted by e-commerce sales which rose 29.3% for the fiscal year ended August.

“The spread of Covid-19 has spurred a change in values and encouraged us to scrutinize the way that we live,” Yanai noted in a November message featured on the company’s website.

“The meaning of clothes is also changing as we witness a strong shift away from clothes worn to beautify or emphasize the

Read more

QSR, Fast-Casual Gift Card Sales Outpace Upscale

With fine dining having taken a hit amid the pandemic, quick service and fast-casual restaurant gift cards are holding steady and even seeing a bit of growth, a new study by Paytronix finds.

Sales of restaurant gift cards plunged by more than 30 percent over the Black Friday shopping weekend compared to the same period last year, according to Paytronix, which operates a digital guest experience platform used by restaurant chains for loyalty programs.

But quick-service chains saw a much more modest decline in gift card sales, which, after falling 3.6 percent on Black Friday, bounced back to post a .7 percent increase in the number of cards sold over the remainder of the weekend.

And even as overall sales numbers dipped a bit on Black Friday, customers who bought gift cards loaded more money onto them, with the total amount rising 4.6 percent.

Fast-casual gift card sales were “mixed,” with some chains seeing big declines while others “tripled sales thanks to rich bonus offers,” Paytronix said.

Overall, Paytronix looked at gift card sales by 175 different brands over the three-day period between Black Friday on Nov. 27 and Sunday, Nov. 29.

“The more upscale the restaurant, the greater the decline we saw in gift card sales during the Black Friday shopping weekend,” said Lee Barnes, head of data insights at Paytronix. “This likely means that fewer people will be giving restaurant gift cards as a gift, almost certainly because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, shoppers seem to be focusing on those cards that have bonus cash promotions, possibly as a gift to themselves.”

The numbers are particularly significant because of what they say about gift card sales in December, which typically amount to upwards of 50 percent of annual restaurant gift card sales, according to Paytronix.

The Black Friday shopping season “traditionally acts as a barometer of upcoming trends throughout the holiday season,” the firm noted in a press release on its study.

——————————

NEW PYMNTS STUDY: ACCELERATING THE REAL-TIME PAYMENTS DEMAND CURVE – NOVEMBER 2020

About: Accelerating The Real-Time Payments Demand Curve:What Banks Need To Know About What Consumers Want And Need, PYMNTS  examines consumers’ understanding of real-time payments and the methods they use for different types of payments. The report explores consumers’ interest in real-time payments and their willingness to switch to financial institutions that offer such capabilities.

Source Article

Read more

F-150 Pickup Sales Drop 46% as Ford Begins Launch of All-New Model

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) said that its U.S. sales fell 21% in November from a year ago, as F-150 pickup sales fell by nearly half amid tight supplies of the popular truck.

Ford said that its dealers’ inventories of the F-150 were low in November because of the lingering effects of coronavirus-related factory closures earlier in 2020 and because F-150 production was disrupted more recently as it retooled its factories to build the all-new 2021 F-150. 

A 2021 Ford F-150 pickup truck, shown towing a boat trailer.

Ford’s all-new 2021 F-150 looks similar to the outgoing model, but there are many changes under the skin. Image source: Ford Motor Company.

The first of those all-new F-150s began shipping to U.S. dealers in late November, Ford said. Sales of Ford’s larger Super Duty pickups, which are built in a separate factory, were up 7.5% in November from a year ago.

Ford’s sales were also dented by the discontinuation of most of its car models. U.S. Ford dealers have sold down most of their remaining sedan inventories, while supplies of the popular crossovers intended to replace them — the EcoSport, Escape, and Edge — remain tight due to high demand and the aforementioned factory shutdowns earlier in the year. 

As of the end of November, Ford had about 19,000 Fusion sedans remaining on U.S. dealer lots. Dealer supplies of the Fiesta, Focus, C-Max, and Taurus, all once stalwarts of the U.S. market, are now close to zero. 

Source Article

Read more

Cyber Monday rings up record $10.8 billion in sales with Amazon touting ‘biggest holiday shopping season so far’

Cyber Monday wrapped up with $10.8 billion in sales, up 15.1% from last year and setting a record for the biggest online sales day in U.S. history, according to Adobe Analytics data.





© Getty Images


“Cyber Monday continued to dominate the holiday shopping season, becoming the biggest online shopping day in U.S. history, despite early discounts from retailers,” said Taylor Schreiner, director at Adobe Digital Insights.    

Loading...

Load Error

“Throughout the remainder of the holiday season, we expect to see record sales continue and curbside pickup to gain even more momentum as shoppers avoid crowds and potential shipping delays.”

Mobile accounted for 37% of sales on Cyber Monday, Adobe said.

See: Black Friday traffic at U.S. stores down 52% even as online retail sales hit record high

Cyber Monday discounts included as much as 28% off computers. Shoppers should expect discounts to lessen by 5% to 10% across many categories as we get closer to Christmas Day, according to Adobe.

Still Marshal Cohen, NPD Retail’s chief industry adviser, notes on Twitter that “Cyber Week continues,” as his inbox fills with promotions.

“Either Monday wasn’t big enough or we are just caught in one long continual promotion from the beginning of November,” he tweeted.

BMO Capital Markets analysts observed Cyber Monday promotions that held flat year-over-year, as well as throughout the Black Friday shopping weekend. Some retailers, like Urban Outfitters Nike Inc. and L Brands Inc.’s Bath & Body Works actually became less promotional on Cyber Monday.

“[W]e expect ongoing upside for retail and into next year and believe, for the first time in a while, the power lies in the hands of the retailers and their inventory management; the question will be who chooses to hold the line versus cross it,” wrote analysts led by Simeon Siegel.

So far this holiday season, Adobe says online shoppers have spent $106.5 billion, up 27.7% from last year.

Amazon.com Inc. says that, through Cyber Monday, “2020 has been the largest holiday shopping season so far in our company’s history.” Amazon, as is the company’s usual practice, did not provide numbers to illustrate that statement, but said that world-wide sales at small- and medium-size grew 60%.

Numerator data found Amazon was “the big winner” for the weekend with 19% of total spend, or $1 of every $5 spent.

Amazon kicked off its holiday shopping season with a delayed Prime Day shopping event in October.

Also: Giving Tuesday reminder: Most people fail to take these 3 basic steps before they donate to charity

Amazon’s bestsellers for the season so far include President Barack Obama’s memoir “A Promised Land,” Revlon Inc.’s One-Step Hair Dryer, and Amazon’s own Echo Dot.

Shopify Inc. says sales for its merchants reached $5.1 billion over the long weekend, up 76% between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Shopify merchants are largely small and independent brands.

U.S. consumers spent an average of $89.20 per order with New York, Los Angeles and London among the top cities.

The Amplify Online Retail ETF has skyrocketed

Read more

Cyber Monday becomes biggest online shopping day in U.S. history, topping nearly $11 billion in sales

Cyber Monday just became the biggest online shopping day in U.S. history, with consumers spending $10.8 billion online, according to Adobe Analytics.

Purchases totaled $12 million a minute between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. PT, with around 37 percent of total purchases coming from smartphones as more shoppers migrate to buying on social media. Curbside pickup was up 30 percent since last year, Adobe said.

Consumers saw the biggest discounts on computers, sporting goods, toys, appliances, and electronics, Adobe said. Some of the hottest buys included Lego sets, Apple AirPods and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.

“Moving forward into December, the categories that I will expect to be discounted will be the toy category and then also anything holiday themed — gift baskets, gift boxes, decor,” retail and shopping expert Trae Bodge told NBC News.

Although many discounts are set to continue throughout December, experts advise to shop early as shipping delays loom and delivery costs are expected to increase after Dec. 11.

“Leading up into the first few weeks of December, up until Dec. 25 — that’s when the discounts are really going to get deeper,” said Sara Skirboll, shopping expert at RetailMeNot. “But here’s the thing, your items might not exist — and if you’re shopping online, you might run into shipping issues.”

Like the discounts, the record-breaking sales seen on Cyber Monday aren’t specific to one day.

Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday also did well, totaling $5.1 billion, $9 billion and $4.7 billion respectively, according to Adobe.

Small businesses saw a greater increase in sales than larger retailers on Cyber Monday, up 501 percent while bigger retailers only saw a 486 percent increase, as consumers shop more consciously this year, Adobe said. Seven in 10 shoppers said it is more important to support small businesses than to get the best deal, according to a survey from Union Bank.

Consumers are also “voting with their wallets to support Black-owned businesses and sustainable businesses,” Harley Finkelstein, president of e-commerce platform Shopify, told NBC News’ Jo Ling Kent on Monday. “Consumers will not be driven solely by deals anymore, they’re going to be driven by movements.”

Shopify saw its biggest-ever Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, recording a 76 percent growth in sales since last year. Small-business hub Etsy saw an 84 percent increase in sales during the first eight hours of Cyber Monday alone, according to Edison Trends.

Online shopping has seen a continued surge since the beginning of the pandemic, with digital sales up by 174 percent at Best Buy, 155 percent at Target and 79 percent at Walmart during the third quarter alone.

Source Article

Read more

Cyber Monday rings up record $10.8 billion in sales with Amazon touting ‘biggest holiday shopping season so far’

Cyber Monday sales broke the all-time U.S. record, according to Adobe.


Getty Images

Cyber Monday wrapped up with $10.8 billion in sales, up 15.1% from last year and setting a record for the biggest online sales day in U.S. history, according to Adobe Analytics
ADBE,
-0.00%

data.

“Cyber Monday continued to dominate the holiday shopping season, becoming the biggest online shopping day in U.S. history, despite early discounts from retailers,” said Taylor Schreiner, director at Adobe Digital Insights.    

“Throughout the remainder of the holiday season, we expect to see record sales continue and curbside pickup to gain even more momentum as shoppers avoid crowds and potential shipping delays.”

Mobile accounted for 37% of sales on Cyber Monday, Adobe said.

See: Black Friday traffic at U.S. stores down 52% even as online retail sales hit record high

Cyber Monday discounts included as much as 28% off computers. Shoppers should expect discounts to lessen by 5% to 10% across many categories as we get closer to Christmas Day, according to Adobe.

Still Marshal Cohen, NPD Retail’s chief industry adviser, notes on Twitter that “Cyber Week continues,” as his inbox fills with promotions.

“Either Monday wasn’t big enough or we are just caught in one long continual promotion from the beginning of November,” he tweeted.

BMO Capital Markets analysts observed Cyber Monday promotions that held flat year-over-year, as well as throughout the Black Friday shopping weekend. Some retailers, like Urban Outfitters
URBN,
+0.25%
,
Nike Inc.
NKE,
+0.50%

and L Brands Inc.’s
LB,
+0.30%

Bath & Body Works actually became less promotional on Cyber Monday.

“[W]e expect ongoing upside for retail and into next year
and believe, for the first time in a while, the power lies in the hands of the
retailers and their inventory management; the question will be who chooses to hold
the line versus cross it,” wrote analysts led by Simeon Siegel.

So far this holiday season, Adobe says online shoppers have spent $106.5 billion, up 27.7% from last year.

Amazon.com Inc.
AMZN,
+1.83%

says that, through Cyber Monday, “2020 has been the largest holiday shopping season so far in our company’s history.” Amazon, as is the company’s usual practice, did not provide numbers to illustrate that statement, but said that world-wide sales at small- and medium-size grew 60%.

Numerator data found Amazon was “the big winner” for the
weekend with 19% of total spend, or $1 of every $5 spent.

Amazon kicked off its holiday shopping season with a delayed Prime Day shopping event in October.

Also: Giving Tuesday reminder: Most people fail to take these 3 basic steps before they donate to charity

Amazon’s bestsellers for the season so far include President Barack Obama’s memoir “A Promised Land,” Revlon Inc.’s
REV,
-9.33%

One-Step Hair Dryer, and Amazon’s own Echo Dot.

Shopify Inc.
SHOP,
-1.87%

says sales for its merchants reached $5.1 billion over the long weekend, up 76% between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Shopify merchants are largely small and independent brands.

U.S. consumers spent an

Read more

Amazon says 2020 shopping season has been their biggest ever with big Black Friday, Cyber Monday sales

Online sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday were expected to break records this holiday, and it appears Amazon was one of shoppers’ key destinations.



While other companies are shrinking, Amazon is growing. The company said Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, that it is seeking to hire 33,000 people for corporate and tech roles in the next few months.


© Mark Lennihan, AP
While other companies are shrinking, Amazon is growing. The company said Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, that it is seeking to hire 33,000 people for corporate and tech roles in the next few months.

Amazon announced Tuesday this year’s holiday shopping season was the biggest in the company’s history.

Loading...

Load Error

The e-commerce giant did not offer specific financial figures on how much was spent during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Amazon did note independent businesses selling on the platform topped $4.8 billion in worldwide sales between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, up 60% from the year before.

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

The best-selling items in the U.S. included Amazon’s new Echo Dot, one of several products made by the company and discounted during the holiday season. Also popular: former President Barack Obama’s latest book “A Promised Land,” the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer Hot Air Brush, and the Lite-Brite Ultimate Classic.

Holiday shopping: ‘Tis the season to follow these wise shopping tips, anti-fraud precautions

Still plenty of deals out there: All the best deals you can still shop after Cyber Monday

Sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday shattered previous records as more consumers skipped physical shopping because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers spent $9 billion during Black Friday, up 21% from the previous year, says Adobe Analytics. Cyber Monday was the largest U.S. shopping day ever, according to Adobe, pulling $10.8 billion, up more than 15% from the previous year.   

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Amazon says 2020 shopping season has been their biggest ever with big Black Friday, Cyber Monday sales

Continue Reading

Source Article

Read more

Amazon sales surge during a record-breaking holiday shopping season

Amazon was already having a blowout year. And it’s shaping up to be a record-breaking holiday shopping season, too.



a person holding a book: An Amazon.com Inc. delivery driver takes an order from a delivery van in Westcliff-on-Sea, U.K., on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. With Black Friday almost underway, equity traders are bracing for a holiday season where brick-and-mortar businesses that lack strong digital platforms could suffer. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images


© Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg/Getty Images
An Amazon.com Inc. delivery driver takes an order from a delivery van in Westcliff-on-Sea, U.K., on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. With Black Friday almost underway, equity traders are bracing for a holiday season where brick-and-mortar businesses that lack strong digital platforms could suffer. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Shoppers have been increasingly relying on Amazon to deliver goods to their homes during the pandemic, and that has proven particularly true as infections soar during the colder months. Amazon said Tuesday that this year’s holiday shopping season has been its largest (and longest) ever, which kicked off in mid-October with a delayed Prime Day.

Loading...

Load Error

Amazon said the record sales had a halo effect on small- and medium-sized businesses that use the platform. Those online sellers brought in nearly $5 billion between Black Friday and Cyber Monday on Amazon — a 60% increase from last year. Amazon has been regularly criticized for destroying these types of businesses and promoting its own branded products instead.

Top-selling items this year include Barack Obama’s memoir “A Promised Land,” the redesigned Echo Dot and the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer Hot Air Brush. Self-care and home goods were also popular as more people are confined to their homes during the outbreak.

As usual, Amazon didn’t release any specific sales numbers. But Adobe Analytics data showed online spending from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday broke records.

The firm said Thanksgiving day sales grew 22% compared to last year to $5.1 billion and Black Friday sales jumped a similar amount to $9 billion. Cyber Monday raked in $10.8 in sales — a 15% jump compared to 2019 — becoming the largest online shopping day in US history. In total, the holiday shopping season has registered $106.5 billion in sales, an increase of 27.7%.

“While Covid-19, the elections and uncertainty around stimulus packages impacted consumer shopping behaviors and made this an unprecedented year in ecommerce, we expect to see continued, record-breaking ecommerce sales from now until Christmas,” said Taylor Schreiner, a director at Adobe Digital Insights, in a statement late Monday.

Shopify, a sales platform primarily used by small businesses, measured $5.1 billion in global sales over the four days between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, making it the largest weekend ever in its history.

That’s a sharp contrast to traffic at brick-and-mortar stores, which fell 52% on Black Friday compared to last year, according to a report from Sensormatic Solutions. Shopping traffic on Thanksgiving dropped by 95%, as many stores closed to give their employees time off and to avoid crowds.

The pandemic and social distancing led shoppers to be more “purposeful” with in-person shopping, and many made their purchases online instead, Brian Field Sensormatic’s senior director of global retail consulting, said in an earlier release. He predicts that people may head to stores on and after December 19 to do some

Read more

The Cyber Monday Fashion Sales Are Here And They’re SO Good

We’ve had plenty of deal-hunting practice this fall, from a rescheduled Prime Day to a better-than-ever Singles Day. Meaning, now, we’re perfectly primed for the main event that sale-savants bide their time for all year long: Black Friday (ever heard of her?). For many, the day after Thanksgiving is spent sleeping off a mashed-potato hangover; for others, it’s the annual moment of truth in which all of the season’s gift-shopping goes down. While some may seek markdowns on big-ticket home buys or enviable beauty bundles, this page is specifically reserved for scoring wearable duds on the cheap.

For the fashion crowd, we crafted this roundup of every single style sale happening around the World Wide Web. We’ve been monitoring the fashion deals for weeks, and now that November 27 is here, the discounts are in full swing — and they’re spectacular. Whether it’s a too-good-to-be-real discount on a dreamy cashmere sweater or an incredibly sweet deal on comfy-chic ankle boots, we sussed it out for your holiday shopping pleasure ahead. Click through to find the best of Cyber Monday’s slashed-price fashion — and bookmark this story for updates as the weekend goes on.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Read more
  • Partner links