Nordstrom Launches Livestream Shopping Channel

In an effort to further digitize its brand, the retailer joins a number of other leading brands in hosting virtual shopping sessions online.

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Need to Know 

  • Nordstrom is launching its own livestream shopping channel in an effort to improve the retail brand’s digital presence.
  • Livestream shopping, already hugely popular in Asia, is a growing trend in North America.
  • Nordstrom joins a number of other major brands in the United States that have launched livestream shopping programs since the onset of the pandemic last year.

Analysis

In an effort to further digitize its business, Nordstrom is set to launch a livestream shopping channel. The announcement comes just weeks after the retail giant announced an 82% decline in earnings last quarter.

Nordstrom in February released a plan to “increase the velocity of its digital business.” 

One of its first initiatives is the livestream channel, which will feature special virtual events, such as a Burberry styling session or a spring beauty trend panel. Other sessions include makeup tutorials and skin care sessions with representatives from leading brands, like Bobbi Brown and Lancôme. The events allow customers to watch the program, ask questions in the live chat and shop the products featured. 

“There’s so much opportunity for us to get closer to the customer,” said Fanya Chandler, a senior vice president at Nordstrom. “We hope customers see this as an opportunity to seamlessly shop and participate in an informative and entertaining event.”

Livestream shopping, which is already hugely popular in Asia, has become a growing trend in North America since the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we shop forever.  

“I’ve been watching what’s happening in China for a while now, and it’s exciting that you can get this connection with the consumer immediately,” added Chandler. “Quite frankly, Covid has really accelerated all of the things that we’ve wanted to do.”

Livestream shopping in China “is estimated to have driven about $125 billion in sales in 2020, up from $63 billion in 2019.”

And American brands are catching on. 

Home-shopping channel QVC has launched the first-ever live shopping channel on Youtube TV. Beauty giant L’Oreal partnered with shopping platform Livescale to launch shoppable livestreams for its many makeup brands, Levi’s and Tommy Hilfiger have launched successful livestream product demos, and even Walmart has experimented with livestream shopping via TikTok.

In China, “social selling accounted for 30% of online retail transactions in 2020.”

Back in November 2020, Nordstrom became the first physical retailer to top the 50% digital sales mark.

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