As the rush toward shoppable livestreaming continues in the U.S., beauty brands are experimenting with a range of different platforms.
Dermalogica, for example, has been hosting livestreams on its site through platforms including Vimeo and Bambuser, as well as shoppable Instagram livestreams. Most recently, it held a December 30 livestream on its site with beauty influencer Jackie Aina using Vimeo. Below the video, it featured links to purchase products, unveiling an early opportunity to buy the brand’s new neck serum that was officially launched on January 7.
“For the past few months, we’ve tested different tools, different channels, different influencers, different offers,” when it comes to livestreaming, said Jeff Johnson, the head of e-commerce at Dermalogica who manages the brand’s livestream projects. “We’re just trying to mix up as many variables as possible to guide us to what works for us and what gets us the most traffic, the best conversion and the most value that we can add to the influencer and the audience of that livestream.” Each livestream has between three and five people working on it.
In order to encourage people to join the Jackie Aina livestream, the brand offered a free gift with purchase to viewers and enlisted Aina to link to it through Instagram. It also allowed users to RSVP online beforehand. The brand declined to share sales metrics due to the feature being in an experimental phase.
“Dermalogica has been investing in being an early adopter to new social commerce features that have been accelerated by the pandemic. We have some guiding principles that we try to live by, one of which is innovate in everything. So wherever there’s an opportunity we’re trying to be the first to do it,” said Johnson.
Dermalogica joins a wave of beauty brands that have been experimenting with the shoppable livestream format. Swedish platform Bambuser, for example, is also used by brands in the Estée Lauder Companies portfolio for on-site livestreams that allow users to click links to purchase directly in the video. L’Oréal Group brands have used Livescale for a similar purpose. Shoppable Instagram livestreams are also seeing growing adoption since they were first rolled out in the summer of 2020.
“The pandemic has accelerated the relevance of livestreaming, with stores being shut,” said Johnson.
As for which platforms generate sales so far, “each has its own benefits, but I think we’re seeing similar results across the platforms,” he said.
The benefit of Vimeo for livestreaming is the use of a dual live for on-site shopping, said Johnson. “We like to bring in our professional skin therapist to have a conversation with the influencer.” Aina, for example, appeared in an interview with a skin-care expert from the brand.
“Live content works well right now because it gives audiences a sense of timeliness, in-person connection and community,” said Kathleen Barrett, Vimeo’s svp of enterprise.
Bambuser, meanwhile, does not have dual live capability, but has a more developed shopping capability. “You can actually add a product carousel to the video. It’s a really seamless experience,”said Johnson.
On Instagram, which also has dual live capabilities, the brand now goes live every week with its skin therapists to address skin-care topics including neck skin care or exfoliation, and to recommend products as their shoppable listings pop up on the screen.
The shopping feature of Instagram livestreams is still in a “testing phase” for the brand. “It’s just a matter of consumer behavior changing over time to become comfortable with entering their payment information and buying things off of Instagram itself,” said Johnson.
Brands are still figuring out the best way to go about the livestreaming.
“We want to get our toe in the water as early as possible and start learning as soon as we can,” said Johnson. The brand is continuing with the strategy in 2021.
“We do feel like we’re making progress and it is something that we’ll continue to do into the new year,” he said. “There’s no way we’re switching this off; we feel like we’re learning and getting better, and we’ll continue to do it going into Q1 and Q2 of this year.”