As the world shifts toward embracing virtual experiences—particularly as the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic forced digital events to replace in-person ones—consumers have become comfortable with turning to their mobile devices and screens to meet their wants and needs. While technology evolves quickly, shoppers are looking for new and interesting ways to connect with brands and influencers through their screens. Likewise, companies are looking to reach their shoppers anytime, anywhere, with virtual tools.
Having the whole world at one’s fingertips is both convenient and expected for today’s consumers. Beauty brands and professionals are already crushing it on social media, using Instagram and TikTok to showcase new products, trends, and looks across highly visual platforms.
Video has become a top way for those in the cosmetic and salon industries to highlight their skills and expertise, offering tutorials for viewers and bringing their artistry to life in the digital space. Live streaming, in particular, has become a staple for beauty pros, celebrity brand reps, and influencers to announce new products and give viewers an exclusive look into what’s hot now and what will be big in beauty in the near future.
The Beauty of Live Selling
Brands across industries are meshing e-commerce with real-time video for live selling, also known as live stream commerce or live video sales. The live selling industry is booming, with live stream e-commerce forecast to generate $17 billion in the United States in 2022 alone. Considering 63% of millennials watch live video streams regularly and 67% of live stream event viewers became repeat purchasers, beauty brands and professionals that create shoppable live videos can boost revenue using their online and social platforms. There are numerous advantages to live selling for beauty products for brands and consumers alike.
Live video creates a personal, intimate experience between the host and viewer. Even if the person broadcasting is speaking to hundreds or thousands of people around the world, going live presents viewers the opportunity to chat and ask questions that the host can answer in real-time, making it seem like a one-to-one conversation. This builds relationships, which can turn into a base of loyal, repeat customers who feel a real connection with the person on their screen. The fact that a video is live means the host can act as their real, authentic selves. Unplanned events can happen, but this endears viewers to the person they’re watching much more than a scripted, polished, marketing video.
Seeing is Believing
Showing off your cosmetic, hair, and beauty products through video allows potential customers to see how they work, rather than just looking at static images or reading text descriptions. Video brings a product or service to life. This is one reason why makeup and hair tutorials are hugely popular on video streaming platforms—viewers are entertained by the process and the final result and can try to emulate it for themselves by following along in real-time. Product reviews work in a similar way–viewers feel like a friend is giving them the inside scoop on items they’ve really tested and tried for themselves.
Replacing In-Person Shopping
During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, heading into your local Sephora to swatch eyeshadow or find your new signature fragrance was not a possibility. While it’s difficult to perfectly replicate all five senses through a screen, beauty brands and influencers found a way to capture the attention of shoppers who were stuck at home via live video. These days, shoppable video can outright replace the need to walk into a store for many consumers, as they can watch the stream and buy what they see in real-time. Others might like to enhance their in-store shopping experience with live sales. Either way, cosmetic and beauty brands are wise to embrace this technology to meet customers where and how they prefer to shop.
E-commerce brands can use live video to broadcast shoppable streams to their audiences across multiple platforms, including their website, a branded mobile app, and social media. Anastasia Beverly Hills, Florence by Mills, and Benefit Cosmetics are just a few beauty brands that are using live, shoppable videos to promote and sell their products. With the right platform for live selling in place, beauty pros can seamlessly broadcast their live sales across all channels at the same time, making it simple to connect with shoppers virtually.
Advantages for Sellers
The interactivity and intuitive way to buy products that shoppable video offers is no longer just a trend for e-commerce brands—it’s become the new way to sell online, and consumers have come to embrace and expect it. Sellers can benefit in multiple ways, including the following:
Live selling helps brands build a community of loyal customers who look forward to tuning in to their videos each week (and often at the same time every day). This way of connecting with audiences creates a personal, interactive experience that draws viewers in. With current technologies, brands large and small can make real sales from their videos. Shoppers can keep tuning in to the broadcast and buy the items they see without leaving the video.
Video blends entertainment with e-commerce—like QVC but taken to the next level for millennial and Gen Z shoppers. Beauty professionals showing off their own products or highlighting their services are able to speak directly to viewers and offer them expert tips, knowledge, and advice through a screen. Imagine being able to talk to viewers about the best way to apply a curl cream to wet hair, and while you’re explaining the steps, the product pops up on the screen and viewers can add it to their cart.
Reduced Cart Abandonment
Live selling can reduce the number of returns or abandoned carts for beauty brands as well. When consumers see how a product looks, functions, and applies on a real person—rather than just looking at a photo or picking up a sealed product at the store and hoping for the best—they better know what to expect. Hosts can also encourage live sale viewers to check out multiple times during the live video by communicating that there is a limited supply of products that are selling fast. This sense of “FOMO” and being part of the hype can encourage video viewers to become actual buyers.
5 Live Selling Tips
Beauty brands and professionals that want to try live video selling can get started easily by integrating with a live selling software for e-commerce and broadcasting their video on social media or their own online home. To drive viewership and sales during the stream, follow these five steps.
- Plan Ahead
Choose which products you want to show off during your live stream, and prep your space for an ultimate aesthetic viewing experience. Broadcasting live from your store or salon is great, or choosing a decorated corner of your home or warehouse works just as well. Jot down a loose script or run-of-show so you know which products you’ll be showing in what order, how you want to show them off, and who you will need to help with your broadcast on and off-camera.
- Get the Right Equipment
The beauty of live selling is that anyone can go live using just a smartphone. For a more professional experience, we recommend getting a ring light, setting your phone on a tripod, and connecting to high-speed internet. It helps to have a separate laptop off-camera where you can read and respond to viewers’ comments as they come in and monitor who is joining the live broadcast.
- Be Authentic
A key reason why live selling has become so successful is the personal experience it facilitates. Shoppers love to tune in to live videos because of the hosts’ personality and knowing that anything could happen. The more authentic you are to yourself, your brand, and your audience, the more repeat customers you’ll acquire. If you don’t feel comfortable going live, consider hiring influencers who generate audiences of raving fans because of their personalities and ability to sell products in an authentic way.
- Educate and Interact with Your Audience
You have your target audience’s attention, and now is the time to talk about your product and services in detail like you would if they walked into your store or salon. Show viewers how to use items or how you create a look. One tip to remember is to always keep talking—if you run out of things to say, make sure you or an assistant is monitoring comments that come in from viewers in the chatbox and respond to questions and remarks. Address viewers by name, and make them feel part of the conversation and experience.
- Keep the Momentum Going
During your live sale, let viewers know how they can shop with you, where they can find you online, and what days and times you plan to go live next. Although live videos are fun because they can feel spontaneous, make sure you don’t lose your viewer base after the video ends. You can remind viewers to shop the replay if you’re using CommentSold to facilitate your live sale in case they missed part of the broadcast or want to watch it again later. In these ways, you can continue making sales even after your stream has ended.
Beauty and cosmetic professionals can take their success on social media one step further by adopting live selling into their business strategies. Live video commerce has come a long way, and sellers can now go live across a multitude of online and social platforms. Live video is a proven way to attract new clients and customers and connect with people on a more personal level—just as you would in a salon or your own store. Join more than 7,000 live sellers on CommentSold—give live selling a try today!