Will the Holidays Spur Retailers to Embrace Live Video?
Just 8 percent of 25 top North American and European retailers studied are offering live video features to customers as the holiday shopping season approaches, according to TokBox, the live video, real-time communications (RTC) company.
“We’ve seen retailers use live video in creative ways as they take on the challenge of digital transformation,” said TokBox CEO Scott Lomond. “In our previous Live Video Maturity Study, we found that retail was less mature in its use of live video than almost every other industry, including education, insurance and healthcare. This indicates that live video will be a significant area of growth in future holiday shopping seasons.”
While 72 percent of the retailers studied offered “live chat” features as a way for shoppers to talk in real time to customer service associates, only 2 of the 25 offered live video functionality.
“Considering that 40 percent of people would like to use live video to speak to a retail sales advisor about a product and that a new generation of shoppers who not only grew up shopping online but expect to use video to communicate, live video has emerged as a tool that allows retailers to create personalized service at scale,” Lomond added.
Some retailers, while not yet using embedded live video on their own branded platforms, have started to experiment with Facebook Live as a way to test the merits of live video. Dunkin’ Donuts, which was not part of this study, live streamed a video of a “test kitchen,” demonstrating how it creates new products. The company garnered 39,000 views, 1,400 comments and 518 shares.
Other retailers are choosing to embed live video directly into the branded experience. Dyson, for example, streams live video of vacuum product demos in order to provide a more personal shopping experience and increase conversion. Walgreens leverages partners to allow customers to speak with physicians via live video.
“I expect by the 2018 holiday season we will see a significant increase in retail use cases of live video,” said Lomond.
The retailers evaluated in October 2017 include: Barnes and Noble, Blue Nile, Coach, Crate & Barrel, Design Within Reach, Dyson, Gap, H&M, Harrod’s, Home Depot, IKEA, Kohl’s, L.L. Bean, Louis Vuitton, Macy’s, Nike, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sephora, Staples, Target, Tiffany & Co., Walgreens, Walmart and Victoria’s Secret.