New data from The Danish Chamber of Commerce shows a clear increase in the use of live shopping. Clothing stores like “Emma Struer” have made it part of the business to sell dresses and autumn jackets live on Facebook.
By Nanna Gantriis
You've probably seen it before. You’re sitting on the sofa after dinner and scrolling through Facebook. A young woman appears on the screen. "One of the things we will see a lot of this fall is cowboys," she says and looks directly into the camera before continuing.
"We got this really cool cowboy jacket from Neo Noir..." She walks closer to the camera and shows her left sleeve. "It's in this nice, bright cowboy wash. And you can buy it by writing 'cowboy 50' in the comment field."
The person in the above example is Lærke Harritz, Sales Assistant at Emma Struer. About once a week, she goes live on Emma Struer's Facebook page, where she presents new collections and special offers to the store's approximately 3,000 followers. This trend of live shopping isn’t limited to Emma Struer's only and is being adopted by several other businesses as well.
A survey by The Danish Chamber of Commerce shows that 21% of Danes have bought something via live shopping in the past three months. This is an increase of six percentage points compared to last year.
FACT BOX: What is live shopping?
- The term originated in 2016 when the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba launched the online shopping platform Taobao Live.
- In Denmark, the concept took off during the coronavirus pandemic, when people couldn’t visit physical stores.
- When you “live shop,” you buy goods online on, for example, Facebook and Instagram.
- Brands and retailers display their products one by one, and you order an item by writing in the comments field. The goods are then sent by mail or prepared for collection in a physical store.
Source: Dansk Erhverv and McKinsey.com
"Not just a corona trend"
Corey Morris, CMO at Sprii, recognizes the development reported by The Danish Chamber of Commerce. Sprii specializes in providing the software and consultancy companies need to do live shopping. In one year, the company headquartered in Aarhus has gone from 10 employees to almost 50.
"Interest is increasing tremendously. Companies have understood that live shopping isn’t just a trend reserved for the corona era, but is actually a new form of retail that is here to stay," says Corey.
He says that the interest can be seen both in Sprii's increasing revenue and increasing number of customers, but also in how often customers are using the platform. "Many of our customers have started hosting several lives in the course of a week."
At Emma Struer, Lærke says they plan on sticking to their weekly live event. "From the time I start planning an event until I send the last product out the door to a customer, I spend up to eight hours. So it has to be worth using an entire day.”
"It's no point putting a sign on the sidewalk"
However, she has no doubt that live shopping and the company’s general presence on social media help bring customers into their physical store in Østergade, Struer.
"There’s no point putting a sign out on the sidewalk, just like you did in the past. We're going to have to be on social media because that's where it's all going to happen in the end.”
Lærke usually films their live show at 4 p.m., but it’s typically later in the evening that the virtual store gets going. "At the moment, there are maybe 30 viewers on our live show. But later in the evening, there are probably 400 people who see it. If we had 430 customers in one afternoon in our physical store, that would be a lot."
Data from the Danish Chamber of Commerce shows that families with children have embraced live shopping in the past year the most, with an increase of 17% since 2021. Special offers exclusively available at live shopping events are one of the reasons consumers choose live shopping over shopping in physical stores.
"It’s when people can save money that we sell the most. And then our shows help to lure people into our physical store," says Lærke Harritz, adding that most live shopping customers also often shop there.
On the left side of the room is a rack of clothes, ready for Lærke's next live event on Facebook. "We already have some customers who’ve been in this week to ask when we’re going live again," she adds with a smile.