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

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Want some holiday shopping advice? Stay in your car with curbside Pickup at Sam’s Club

You Got This is a series that spotlights the gear you need to improve one area of your life. If you buy something from this post, we may earn an affiliate commission. 


Remember the days of wandering the mall and snacking on a huge pretzel from the food court while you casually browsed for gifts? Fast forward to 2020 and the goal for holiday shopping this season is to be safely tucked away, not touching things.  

So, why should you do curbside Pickup instead of Prime delivery or (gasp) your usual in-store shopping? Let us count the ways. 

Next time your roomie is gabbing your ear off, grab your phone and tackle your list on the Sam’s Club app. You can also buy just one thing, like a new pair of noise-canceling earbuds. You’ll still get free Pickup. 

Fill your virtual cart with a new for nana, a for your pops, and a for dinner, choose a pickup time, and then park it while the pros load the trunk.

Get in on a for $100 a year and curbside Pickup is always free. Even Basic members, who pay just $45 a year, can get free Pickup right now for a limited time. 

Pickup is from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day, but one of the perks of being a Plus member is that you get special curbside service starting at 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Early bird gets it every time. 

If you’re tethered to your desk all day, do your shopping while waiting for that video meeting to start. Then take your desk on the go as you fire off some emails while parked in the Sam’s Club Pickup spot. Ah, multitasking. 

If you’re used to two-day delivery schedules, then Sam’s Club Pickup will feel like warp speed. Some orders of 10 items or less can be picked up in a measly four hours.

If you’re still waiting for that hot pot you ordered weeks ago, Pickup delivers the goods straight to your car. Nothing’s lost in transit or ripe for package thieves. 

Want some holiday shopping advice? Stay in your car with curbside Pickup at Sam’s Club

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Austin’s mayor told people to stay home. He was vacationing in Cabo after hosting his daughter’s wedding.

When the number of new coronavirus cases in Texas began to rise in early November, the mayor of Austin urged residents to avoid socializing and traveling, especially as the holiday season approached.



Steve Adler wearing a suit and tie: In this March 2020, file photo, Austin Mayor Steve Adler speaks during a news conference in Austin. Adler took a vacation to Mexico with family in November at a time when he was urging people to “stay home if you can.”


© Ricardo B. Brazziell/AP
In this March 2020, file photo, Austin Mayor Steve Adler speaks during a news conference in Austin. Adler took a vacation to Mexico with family in November at a time when he was urging people to “stay home if you can.”

“We need to stay home if you can,” Mayor Steve Adler (D) said in a Nov. 9 video. “We need to try to keep those numbers down. This is not the time to relax.”

Days before he offered that warning, Adler had hosted at a downtown hotel for his daughter and about 20 guests. Then, he and eight wedding guests took a private jet to Cabo San Lucas, where they stayed together in a timeshare.

After the Austin American-Statesman first reported Adler’s trip, which he had not previously disclosed to the public, the mayor apologized Wednesday for taking the trip to Mexico and setting a poor example as coronavirus cases spiked across Texas.

“I regret that travel,” Adler said in a video he posted to Facebook on Wednesday evening. “I wouldn’t travel now, I didn’t over Thanksgiving, and I won’t over Christmas. And no one should.”

His mea culpa is the latest in a string of apologies from public officials across the U.S. this week, after several city and state leaders have been caught flouting their own coronavirus warnings by dining out and attending parties after issuing guidance discouraging the public from doing those same activities.

California Democrats urged people to stay home — and then did the opposite at restaurants and holiday parties

Texas broke the nationwide record for new coronavirus cases reported in a day about two weeks after Adler posted the Nov. 9 video, when it reported 16,100 new cases on Nov. 25, about 1,000 more than the previous record. (California reported 18,350 new cases that same day, also breaking the previous record.)

Some areas of the Lone Star State have been hit harder than others. Near the border with Mexico and New Mexico, El Paso has resorted to airlifting patients to other cities as its hospitals have been overwhelmed with critically ill people. The state paid prisoners to move hundreds of bodies to mobile morgues in the city, then it deployed National Guardsmen to help.

El Paso was still grieving when the coronavirus arrived. Now, death has overwhelmed it.

As of early Thursday, more than 9,000 people are hospitalized with covid in Texas.

Yet even as the numbers mount, officials in the state have been inconsistent in enacting and enforcing coronavirus restrictions.

El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego, a Democrat, ordered a shutdown of the hard-hit city, but El Paso Mayor Dee Margo and the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, both Republicans, challenged the legality of those restrictions.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) declared last month that he

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As mayor urged Austin to ‘stay home,’ he was vacationing in Mexico following daughter’s wedding

In November, Austin Mayor Steve Adler hosted his daughter’s wedding and vacationed with a group of people in Mexico.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Mayor Steve Adler has confirmed to the KVUE Defenders that, after hosting his daughter’s wedding, he vacationed to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, last month with a group of people.

Both happened in early November, just as top health officials began urging families not to gather with others outside their households and the mayor himself asked people to stay home if they could in order to slow the number of coronavirus cases.

Adler told KVUE Senior Reporter Tony Plohetski that he did not violate his own order or orders by Gov. Greg Abbott and took multiple steps to ensure the safety of his guests, including rapid COVID-19 testing.

But the private actions are from a public official who has been front and center urging Austinites to take COVID-19 precautions – and he even did so while he was out of the country.

During a Facebook video message posted Nov. 9, Adler said, “We need to stay home if you can…We need to keep the numbers down. Now is not the time to relax.”

You can watch the video here:


The mayor confirmed that when the video was recorded, he was in Mexico on vacation with eight people, including immediate and extended family, after flying from Austin on a private jet. 

Two days earlier, Adler hosted a wedding and reception at Hotel Saint Cecilia, a South Congress Avenue hotel, for his daughter with 20 guests.

At the time, Austin was under Stage 3 guidelines, which suggest no gatherings of more than 10 people.

The mayor said he consulted with Austin’s top health authority, Dr. Mark Escott. 

Adler said he held the event outdoors. 

Guests had to maintain social distancing, he said, and the bride and groom gave out masks. 

Attendees had to get a COVID-19 test prior to attending, he said. 

Several wedding attendees flew to Austin from across the U.S., including a Seattle-based wedding photographer. 

“It’s not perfect,” Adler said in an interview this week. “Obviously there are infections that could happen. But what we did was stay compliant with the rules.”

The next day, eight of those wedding attendees, including Adler and both immediate and extended family members, departed for their trip to Cabo. 

The day after they left, Escott issued a public warning: “If you are going to go out to a restaurant, go out with your family, the people who live in your household, not the family or friends who don’t live in your household. And start to decrease those travels outside of your home that are not necessary.”

At the time, the rate of people testing positive for COVID-19 was below 4%, and although cases were rising, they spiked after Adler’s trip. 

Under state guidelines, which supersede any local guidelines, “wedding receptions held outdoors are strongly recommended and are not subject to an occupancy

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Austin Mayor Reportedly Hosted Wedding, Traveled To Mexico While Telling Constituents ‘We Need To Stay Home’

Topline

Austin Mayor Steve Adler, who has been a vocal advocate of social distancing to keep coronavirus cases down in Texas’ capital city, was reported by local media Wednesday to have hosted a wedding for his daughter in early November with 20 guests, twice the recommended limit under the city’s coronavirus guidelines at the time, and to have vacationed in Mexico as he encouraged residents to “stay home if you can,” a move called hypocritical by some Austinites.

Key Facts

According to the Austin American-Statesman, Adler and seven other guests at the wedding traveled on a private jet to Cabo, Mexico the day after the wedding, where the Statesman reports the mayor recorded a video encouraging Austin residents to hunker down at home to prevent a rise in coronavirus cases: “We need to stay home if you can. This is not the time to relax,” he said.

However, Adler maintains that he did not violate his own orders, telling the newspaper he consulted health authorities before the wedding, had guests tested for coronavirus, gave out masks and encouraged social distancing—he also said his travel party in Cabo was in a “pod” and following safety precautions, and at the time, Austin coronavirus guidelines were not yet discouraging travel.

This week, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Florida Gov. Gavin Newsom found themselves in hot water after it was revealed they had dinner at the same Michelin-starred Napa restaurant French Laundry within a day of each other, despite state guidelines that strongly discourage gatherings of people from multiple households, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock also apologized on social media Monday for traveling to spend Thanksgiving with family in Mississippi after he told his constituents to stay home. 

In September, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faced nationwide blowback after a trip to a hair salon that should have been closed under California state orders, which Pelosi and a hair stylist involved said was a setup by a business owner angry over coronavirus closings.

Crucial Quote

“I regret this travel,” Adler said in a statement released after the story made headlines. “I wouldn’t travel now, didn’t over Thanksgiving and won’t over Christmas. But my fear is that this travel, even happened during a safer period, could be used by some as a justification for risky behavior. In hindsight, and even though it violated no order, it set a bad example for which I apologize.”

Key Background

A fall surge in coronavirus infections nationwide is expected to be exacerbated by Thanksgiving gatherings and travel. While widespread vaccination may be possible as early as summer 2021, health experts are urging Americans to continue social distancing, wearing masks and getting tested for coronavirus to battle the disease in the meantime. 

Further Reading

Austin mayor stressed residents ‘need to stay home.’ He was vacationing in Cabo at the time (Austin American-Statesman

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Austin Mayor Steve Adler urged residents to stay home while vacationing

Need to stay updated on coronavirus news in Texas? Our evening roundup will help you stay on top of the day’s latest updates. Sign up here.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler has confirmed to the KVUE that, after hosting his daughter’s wedding, he vacationed to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, last month with a group of people.

Both happened in early November, just as top health officials began urging families not to gather with others outside their households and the mayor himself asked people to stay home if they could in order to slow the number of coronavirus cases.

Adler told KVUE Senior Reporter Tony Plohetski that he did not violate his own order or orders by Gov. Greg Abbott and took multiple steps to ensure the safety of his guests, including rapid COVID-19 testing.

But the private actions are from a public official who has been front and center urging Austinites to take COVID-19 precautions — and he even did so while he was out of the country.

During a Facebook video message posted Nov. 9, Adler said, “We need to stay home if you can…We need to keep the numbers down. Now is not the time to relax.”

The mayor confirmed that when the video was recorded, he was in Mexico on vacation with eight people, including immediate and extended family, after flying from Austin on a private jet.

Two days earlier, Adler hosted a wedding and reception at Hotel Saint Cecilia, a South Congress Avenue hotel, for his daughter with 20 guests.

At the time, Austin was under Stage 3 guidelines, which suggest no gatherings of more than 10 people.

The mayor said he consulted with Austin’s top health authority, Dr. Mark Escott.

Adler said he held the event outdoors.

Guests had to maintain social distancing, he said, and the bride and groom gave out masks.

Attendees had to get a COVID-19 test prior to attending, he said.

Several wedding attendees flew to Austin from across the U.S., including a Seattle-based wedding photographer.

“It’s not perfect,” Adler said in an interview this week. “Obviously there are infections that could happen. But what we did was stay compliant with the rules.”

The next day, eight of those wedding attendees, including Adler and both immediate and extended family members, departed for their trip to Cabo.

The day after they left, Escott issued a public warning: “If you are going to go out to a restaurant, go out with your family, the people who live in your household, not the family or friends who don’t live in your household. And start to decrease those travels outside of your home that are not necessary.”

At the time, the rate of people testing positive for COVID-19 was below 4%, and although cases were rising, they spiked after Adler’s trip.

Under state guidelines, which supersede any local guidelines, “wedding receptions held outdoors are strongly recommended and are not subject to an occupancy limit.”

The week after Adler returned, on Nov. 19, the city raised the

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James Avery Artisan Jewelry delivers meaning, connection and a message to stay safe

“We understand that many families may not be able to spend the holidays together this year, but that doesn’t have to stop us from celebrating the season together – even if it is virtually,” said James Avery Director of Customer Service and Marketing Communication Lindsey Avery Tognietti. “At James Avery, we are ready to help you select and ship your gifts, so they reach your loved ones on time.”

If you are shopping in-store, the company has implemented a text queue to hold a customer’s place in line without having to physically wait. If there is a line, associates will be available to serve waiting customers and answer questions.

“We love seeing our customers in stores, but this year we know many will want to shop from the safety and comfort of home,” said Avery Tognietti. “Our Customer Service teams are ready no matter where, or how, you prefer to buy your gifts.”

Customers shopping online this year can skip the lines and take advantage of free two-day shipping offer for orders placed by Sunday, December 20. Engraving orders must be placed by Monday, Dec. 7. Charm soldering must be ordered by Thursday, December 17. Items can also be picked up in store utilizing their Buy Online, Pick-up in Store and Contactless Curbside Pickup options.

This year, James Avery’s Christmas designs offer whimsical charms like the Enamel Sweet Santa and Happy Penguin charms, the colorful Cherished Birthstone gemstone collection and artfully detailed earrings and rings for every occasion and style. Previously, the company’s Create Your Own Art Glass Charms were offered only in Discovery Center and Stores, but now customers can personalize their charms in all James Avery stores and online. The line of art glass charms now includes and expanded offering of silver finials with 12 designs and the entire alphabet and 25 colorful beads.

“We know that our customers love a pop of color and personalizing their gifts. The Create Your Own option is just one of the ways we offer personalization. Most of our pieces can also be hand or laser engraved. We offer initials in many styles to help you celebrate the most precious people in your lives,” said Avery Tognietti.

The company implemented all recommended COVID-19 health protocols in stores. Hand sanitizing stations are set up for customers and associates and all jewelry and high-touch areas of the store are regularly cleaned and sanitized. Additionally, the company asks customers to honor social distancing guidelines and to wear face coverings when in the store. James Avery associates undergo daily health screenings and wear facemasks.

To find out if your store offers these services, and for more information about holiday product care and shipping deadlines, please visit JamesAvery.com or call 800-283-1770.

About James Avery Artisan Jewelry®James Avery is a vertically integrated, family-owned company located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. We offer finely crafted jewelry designs for men and women in sterling silver, 14K and 18K gold, gemstones

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How can I stay safe while shopping? 25 common virus questions answered | National News

Oxford scientists expect COVID-19 vaccine data by Christmas

FILE – In this Thursday, April 23, 2020 file screen grab taken from video issued by Britain’s Oxford University, showing a person being injected as part of the first human trials in the UK to test a potential coronavirus vaccine, untaken by Oxford University in England. A key researcher at the University of Oxford says scientists expect to report results from the late-stage trials of their COVID-19 vaccine by Christmas. Dr. Andrew Pollard, an expert in pediatric infection and immunity at Oxford, said Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 that research was slowed by low infection rates over the summer but the Phase III trials are now accumulating the data needed to report results.




What does COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness mean? It refers to the likelihood that a coronavirus shot will work in people.

Two vaccine makers have said that preliminary results from their late-stage studies suggest their experimental vaccines are strongly protective. Moderna this week said its vaccine appears nearly 95% effective. This comes on the heels of Pfizer’s announcement that its shot appeared similarly effective.

Those numbers raised hopes around the world that vaccines could help put an end to the pandemic sometime next year if they continue to show that they prevent disease and are safe.

Effectiveness numbers will change as the vaccine studies continue since the early calculations were based on fewer than 100 COVID-19 cases in each study. But early results provide strong signals that the vaccine could prevent a majority of disease when large groups of people are vaccinated.

U.S. health officials said a coronavirus vaccine would need to be at least 50% effective before they would consider approving it for use. There was concern that coronavirus vaccines might be only as effective as flu vaccines, which have ranged from 20% to 60% effective in recent years.

The broad, early effectiveness figures don’t tell the whole story. Scientists also need to understand how well the vaccine protects people in different age groups and demographic categories.

For both vaccines, the interim results were based on people who had COVID-19 symptoms that prompted a virus test. That means we don’t know yet whether someone who’s vaccinated might still get infected — even if they show no symptoms — and spread the virus.

Also unknown is whether the shots will give lasting protection, or whether boosters will be required.

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Stay Tuned column: A reimagined ‘Black Beauty’ makes its streaming debut – Entertainment – Austin American-Statesman

Thanksgiving week means a lighter TV schedule, except for many, many hours of holiday programming. In non-holiday choices, a famous horse story gets reimagined and a popular romance drama returns for season two.

Dispatches: Weekly TV news
Fox ordered the new series, “Game of Talents.” The unscripted variety show focuses on contestants guessing performers’ hidden talents, based only on their first impressions and clues. Wayne Brady (“Let’s Make a Deal,” “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”) hosts and executive produces the show, which will premiere in 2021.

Nicki Minaj announced on Twitter that HBO Max ordered a docuseries about her. She promised that the six-episode show will be a “raw, unfiltered” look at her life.

Contenders: Shows to keep on your radar
Here are a few holiday specials airing on Nov. 27: “Frosty the Snowman” (CBS, 8 p.m. ET), “Frosty Returns” (CBS, 8:30 p.m. ET), “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” (ABC, 8 p.m. ET), “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (NBC, 8 p.m. ET), “Minions Holiday Special” (NBC, 8:30 p.m. ET), and “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” (The CW, 8 p.m. ET).

Anna Sewell’s classic novel, “Black Beauty” (Nov. 27, Disney+) gets reimagined with Kate Winslet as the voice of Black Beauty and Mackenzie Foy as Jo Green, the spirited teenage girl who forges an unbreakable bond with the wild mustang. This version follows Black Beauty, who is captured and forced to leave the freedom of the American West for life at Birtwick Stables. As Beauty is sold to different owners, Jo is determined to reunite with her.

Season two of “Virgin River” premieres (Nov. 27, Netflix). The romance drama, based on the book series by Robyn Carr, will continue its focus on small-town love stories and give more backstory for Marines, Jack (Martin Henderson) and Preacher (Colin Lawrence).

Comic and ventriloquist, Jeff Dunham, premieres his first special for Comedy Central in six years called, “Jeff Dunham’s Completely Unrehearsed Last Minute Pandemic Holiday Special” (Nov. 27, 8 p.m. ET).

The “2020 Soul Train Awards” are hosted by Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold (Nov. 29, BET, VH1, BET Her and MTV2, 9 p.m. ET).

“The Disney Holiday Singalong” returns for a third installment (Nov. 30, ABC, 8 p.m. ET) with performances and appearances by Andrea Bocelli, BTS, Michael Buble, Ciara, Katy Perry and many others. The special also includes performances from members of the Broadway casts of “The Lion King,” and “Aladdin,” and North American Touring companies of “Frozen.”

In non-holiday themed programming, “Atlas of Cursed Places” (Dec. 1, National Geographic, 9 p.m. ET) follows author and adventurer Sam Sheridan around the globe as he searches for the most cursed places on the planet.

Also on National Geographic is “Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller” (Dec. 2, 9 p.m. ET). The eight-part series follows van Zeller as she explores smuggling networks, offering viewers a behind-the-scenes look at these criminal underworlds.

Report Card: Ratings winners and losers
Winners: The “Supernatural” (The CW) finale delivered the show’s largest audience since April

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