Article written by Frédéric Therin and published in the Cosmetiquemag journal on the 1st of June 2022

Coming straight from China, live shopping has imposed itself in Europe during the pandemic. How brands and retailers have turned this innovative e-commerce practice into a new channel for advice and sales?

70% of consumers in the Old Continent are interested in live shopping according to a survey carried out in four countries, including France, by the research centre Forrester. Another survey conducted by lfop states that 49% of online shoppers say they are ready to buy products directly from live videos. According to McKinsey, this model could generate between 10% and 20% of global e-commerce turnover by 2026. Beauty is the second most popular category (7.6%) in these “tele-shopping2.0” sessions. In France, Parfums Christian Dior (LVMH) and Make Up for Ever cosmetics (LVMH) have made inroads into this market after the signing of a partnership between LVMH and the Swedish specialist Bambuser. 

The French luxury giant has already warned that it wants to strengthen its position in this new sales channel “for all its houses and divisions, in all markets”. Retailers are not to be outdone. Marionnaud has already organised several Live Shop- ping sessions on its site in collaboration with numerous brands such as La Prairie, (Beiersdorf), Respire, Estée Lauder, La Mer, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Darphin (Lauder group) and Shiseido, which it is still possible to watch today. Sephora (LVMH), for its part, offers its customers the opportunity to speak live on the Web to a beauty consultant in shop. Le Printemps, also associated with Bambuser, has already broadcast Live Shopping sessions on its website as well as on Instagram, Facebook and Linkedln. Other retailers may be inspired by the examples in the near future. The general manager of the Passion Beauté cooperative, Jean-François Morinaux, says that he and his teams are “at the beginning of the reflection on this theme”. 

Teasing and promotion

Some other retailers are still hesitating to take the plunge, and while direct sales on the web seem to have a bright future, beauty brands and retailers should not expect a panacea either. One-to-many sessions in which the salesperson interacts live with a group of Internet users must be very well prepared. Teasing and promotion in advance of the live session is necessary to arouse the curiosity of consumers. The filming studio must also be well decorated and the benefits of the proposed products must be perfectly highlighted by dynamic animators or well-known influencers. But the setting is not everything… Consumers in France are very demanding, especially in the cosmetics sector,” underlines Jérémy Dahan, president of the Globe Group, which has just opened a 1,500 sq. m. space on the Avenue de la Grande-Armée in Paris, including 34 showrooms dedicated to Live Shopping. They like to touch and feel the products they are interested in, and the Web does not allow for this. To seduce buyers, Live Shopping must therefore offer something unique. This can be a line sold exclusively on the Net or a special promotion available nowhere else. And to be profitable, a Live must bring together at least 500 Internet users if the products on offer are of high added value. A well-prepared session can, however, be very profitable. “The conversion rate of a Live reaches around 40% whereas it does not exceed 2.5% for a classic e-commerce site,” reveals Jérémy Dahan. But if it is certain that the ‘one-to-many’ will be a huge success in many countries, there is still some doubt about France. Our market is complicated. It’s no coincidence that the teleshopping chain QVC resigned itself to leaving France after investing €100m. If “teleshopping2.0” can record mixed results in our country, “one-to-one” should be much more popular. Some of our clients offer their female customers the opportunity to talk to their advisors live from 3pm to 11pm, seven days a week,” says the president of the Globe Group. Thanks to LiveShopping, e-commerce will be more personalised and human. Is this the key to success? The future will tell… 


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