Live shopping: How live streaming can help beauty brands build trust and transparency with consumers

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Could live streaming the ideal way for beauty brands to build trust and transparency? ©GettyImages
Could live streaming the ideal way for beauty brands to build trust and transparency? ©GettyImages

Related tags retail Cosmetics

Singaporean tech start-up BeLive is certain this ‘fad’ is here to stay and the ideal way for beauty brands to build trust and transparency with their consumers.

Live commerce is a fusion of e-commerce and live video, to help brands to provide their consumers a personal in-store experience at a distance.

Larger brands have already begun picking up on live commerce. BeLive has already worked with companies such as L'Oréal, Johnson & Johnson and Lazada for campaigns. The firm also has a partnership with Rakuten in Japan, where it powers the Rakuten Live platform.

For big brands, live streaming is an effective way for them to building its authenticity among younger consumers.

“Centennial consumers – those born after 1990 – want that sense of authenticity that live streaming is able to provide, you can’t really fake it because it’s live. There’s no layer of editing so it feels more real – like a friend is talking to you and less like a sponsored post,”​ explained CEO Kenneth Tan.

These factors are ideal for cosmetic products, he added. “Beauty is live stream-friendly because it’s easy to demonstrate. You see the product almost for what it is, no editing, not like an advertisement.”

The company sees potential growth in countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia and especially in Thailand, where many Facebook Live shops have begun sprouting up.

However, live commerce faces limitations such as language, culture and Internet speeds, said Tan.

He remains optimistic about the future of live commerce. “We believe there is going to be a huge uptake in live commerce in two to three years. We are a bit early but we believe we are here to stay. If we persist long enough, there will be a breakthrough in mass consumer adoption.”

High conversion rates

BeLive has already seen how effective live commerce can be for beauty brands in terms of conversion.

“We get really high engagement and conversion rates. For one of the L'Oréal campaigns, we converted 60% of viewers to tap on the shop button and 40% of them went onto purchase. Usually, once people feel engaged, they are more comfortable making a purchase,”​ said Tan.

Another added benefit is that brands can glean insights from live commerce sessions from the comments.

“We get a lot of viewers asking questions like ‘can I see this particular shade swatched on a darker skin tone?’ Brands don’t get questions like that unless they run a focus group. They are able to collect this data about their products and use it to formulate a strategy, providing it has enough critical mass,”​ Tan said.

Tan believes live commerce will becoming an increasingly important way of engaging consumers in the future.

“Especially for savvy ASEAN shoppers. They are very used to consuming content on their mobile phones. As Internet speeds get faster and faster, we believe that live commerce will become very important because it has a very strong layer of interactivity that most mediums do not have.”

Moving up the chain

While the company has had success with live commerce, Tan told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that the firm plans to move away from B2C live streaming.

“We probably won’t step back into the B2C live streaming scene because there are many challenges. Until we find the correct angle and believe the market is ready, we will focus on B2B. That’s where we believe our next step should be; empowering businesses with live streaming technology.”

Recently, BeLive partnered with tech giant Samsung to help launch its S10 launch in Vietnam.

Samsung used BeLive’s live streaming technology to organise a training workshop for its multiple vendors across the region.

Instead of organising workshops in various cities or send trainers down to individual vendors, the company hosted a live stream show with a popular local influencer. The stream included a trivia show which gave out cash prizes if the participant could answer all 10 questions correctly.

He added that this model can also work for cosmetics companies in training beauty consultants.

“[A beauty company] can spend millions a year just organising workshops. They spend a lot of time, organising so many batches. We believe live streaming can play a huge role. It can educate thousands at once and can likely incentivise people to join and participate if you give out prizes.”

Tan concluded: “People need to realise live streaming is just a technology. There are so many ways to apply it. I’m talking about health care, med-tech, military, even property. We see huge opportunities for this tech.”

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