Prestige home fragrance brand Nest has had early success with livestream shopping.
Since January, Laura Slatkin, founder of Nest, has hosted seven livestream shopping shows; livestream shopping now accounts for just under 10% of Nest’s DTC e-commerce sales. According to a 2021 Glossy story, over 50% of the brand’s sales were direct-to-consumer in 2020. Nest works with livestream company Bambuser to host streaming on the brand’s website and to simulcast the shows to TikTok and Facebook; recordings are kept on the website afterward. Episode themes have included holiday entertainment and education about scent diffusers, and they’ve featured co-hosts including photographer Gray Malin, with whom Nest has a product collaboration.
“Live selling helps bridge the gap [with buying fragrances online],” said Andrea Moore, svp of digital for Nest. “We know we have a symbiotic relationship with the other channels we sell within. People have a sense of what our product is like a lot of times before they [buy from] the website. With live selling, … we get to be more specific about how you use products and when you might use them.”
During episodes, viewers can see which products Slatkin is showcasing on their screen and elect to add them to their cart and check out. More than two-thirds of the audience watch the episodes on their phone. Moore said 42% of viewers purchase products during Nest’s show, compared to the Bambuser benchmark of 7% for beauty brands. Additionally, one-third of the audience views recorded episodes after they air live.
Slatkin said Nest’s authenticity relies on the quality of its products. It’s worked with master perfumers to develop the brand’s scents and perfect the wax formula of its candles for over 30 years. But there is added authenticity with Slatkin showing up as a real person who is relatable and down to earth. The first episode focused on a wellness collection and had Slatkin tell the story of how the collection came to be, as she sat in an intimate space ensconced by white orchids and framed flower sketches. The most recent episode, from October 17, had a more upscale approach: Slatkin toured her Palm Beach, Florida home while demonstrating how she scented it for the holidays. She also dispensed entertaining tips. Harry Slatkin, husband to Laura, read questions submitted from the audience for her to answer during the live episode.
“In the beginning stages, it was more about selling products. What we realized is the audience wants to be able to talk to me, the founder, and get to know me more,” said Slatkin. “When I do that, it becomes a conversation. We’re getting to know the customer and hear from them.”
Moore said Nest is driving audiences to the livestream shopping episodes through paid media, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram Stories, SMS and email marketing. It’s also inviting influencers like Janette Ok to co-host episodes so they can drive awareness via their own followers. Moore said the audience size is, on average, 200% larger than Bambuser’s benchmark for beauty brands and 300% larger than for home brands.
Moving forward, in 2023, Nest will maintain its once-a-month episode cadence but will further experiment with episode locations and welcome more guest co-hosts. Moore said that previewing new products in livestreams has been successful for engagement and that Nest will continue to do so.
“It’s valuable for me to have this platform and be at one with our customers. It guides the team and me regarding what [the brand] should lean into more,” said Slatkin.