Top Five ways for beauty brands to create impactful Livestream Shopping content

Date: August 18, 2021

At every beauty and skincare counter in every brick-and-mortar store in every city, shoppers can find sales assistants willing to help. These staff members wear the newest range, and are prepared to answer questions, demonstrate the products, offer tutorials, and guide a customer through from research to purchase. 

In the online space, beauty brands (especially new brands or those with new launches) often miss out on that valuable customer engagement that sales staff can provide. This is where livestreaming for beauty brands can bridge the gap.

Who else is jumping onto the live shopping bandwagon?

This TechCrunch article covers the fast-growing trend of beauty brands like Sephora, Dermalogica and Bobbi Brown making live shopping available to customers through Facebook’s Live Shopping Fridays. Luxury beauty brands like Clinique, Shiseido, and Estee Lauder offer regular livestreams that offer mix of how-to demos, behind-the-scenes looks, and influencer videos to boost engagement and interact with customers.

The new face of beauty brands 

The beauty market is changing. The evolving tastes of customers now mean that brands must display transparency, diversity, inclusion, and multi-purpose products. 

Although customer loyalty is still strong, even established brands like L’Oreal have also tweaked their product range and brand messaging to remain relevant. According to this Forbes article, customer loyalty means that it is harder for new brands to break through. For both established and emerging brands therefore, livestream shopping becomes an impactful way to make direct contact with customers. 

Five ways beauty brands can make effective livestream content

In a market like this, understanding the customer on the other side of the camera is critical to creating good content that translates to increased revenue. Here are the top recommendations by Swirl: 

1. Capitalize on the personal connection of your brand  

There are few things more personal than beauty and skincare products. Customers turn to your brand for products to boost confidence, stay on-trend, look and feel better, and solve specific problems. It means that your brand will be inside their homes and bathrooms, as well as being a part of their discussions with family and friends.

By understanding this, your brand can create meaningful livestream content that allows the viewer to develop a deeper connection with the product and imagine it on their dressing tables. 

Recommendations:  

  • Unbox products to demonstrate texture, colours and show viewers how to use it. 
  • Offer how-tos of the product in the livestream to show the Before and After results.
  • Explain how the product is versatile: can it be used in different ways, how long does it last in different types of weather, day to night looks, etc. 
  • Show how the packaging makes it convenient to carry in handbags or suitcases. 
  • Offer expert recommendations: how to pair it with other products from your range.  

Read our blog on creating livestreams that bridge the gap between offline and online retail

2. Leverage peer reviews and customer testimonials

A survey by Ipsos found that it is not brands, but the people closest to the shopper who influence buying from beauty brands. Friends, mothers, sisters, family members have the greatest impact on your customer’s purchasing decisions, followed by magazines, online videos, Instagram and other social media. 

Using celebrities or influencers has a huge impact on brand adoption, but today’s customer sees “real people” as more genuine and therefore more reliable. 

Recommendations:  

  • Your livestream content should showcase reviews by happy customers. 
  • Avoid the photoshopped, air-brushed models for live content. 
  • Use celebrities judiciously, and in combination with regular people.   
  • Offer coupons or discounts for recommendations and referrals.

Read our blog about inspiring customer confidence through livestream content.

3. Provide diverse, inclusive content

One of the most important trends in beauty for any skincare or grooming brand to understand is body positivity. Today’s beauty shoppers are looking for brands that encourage being comfortable in one’s own skin, and not shaming them into buying products.

In 2019, Google and Ipsos partnered with The Female Quotient to conduct a marketing survey on the impact of positive, inclusive marketing on 3000 consumers. The study results offered conclusive evidence: 64% of consumers said they took some kind of action after seeing an inclusive ad. 

Recommendations:

  • Livestream content should be scripted with positive messaging: not fixing flaws but focusing on body positivity, taking care of oneself, being confident, and enjoying one’s beauty rituals. 
  • If possible, select hosts from different backgrounds, sexual orientation, and body/skin type.
  • Wherever possible, be transparent and honest about the products, offering brand promises when true, to provide the most authentic message. Behind-the-scenes footage, staff and crew presence in the videos, and real customer footage is a great way to build trust. 

Read our blog about the video-first livestream trends that retail brands are using to engage with customers.

4. Set up sophisticated, seamless experience

When creating livestream content for beauty brands, the priority is to increase engagement and boost sales. One of the determining factors in this is how easy and quick it is for customers to shop from the livestream.

It is also important that your live shopping experience is branded and is as close to the in-store customer experience as possible. Ensure that your branding, logo, and products are clearly displayed for the viewer to see during the livestream.

Recommendations:

  • Always assume viewers are new. Explain at the start of the livestream how to message/live chat, how to find links to products, how to see more, and how to shop.
  • Ensure that the host takes time to answer questions and respond to viewers during the livestream. 
  • Provide easy live shopping processes with secure payment options, return/refund information, and prompt customer service.

Read our blog on Things to Do Before Your Livestream to ensure a successful event.

5. Be relevant and up to date with technology

It is important to understand your key demographic and understand where they are spending their time online. Your livestream should be available on the platforms that are most popular with the age group of your customers. 

Being open to new technologies or platforms helps you create sophisticated live shopping experiences for your customers, without needing to invest in hosting platforms, payment gateways, ecommerce sites, or other requirements. 

Find out how Swirl can help you create your own livestreams. 

Recommendations:

  • Offer your content first on the most relevant platform to your audience. 
  • Record all livestreams and make them available on other platforms to capture the widest slice of your audience.
  • Offer multiple payment options so that your customers find it easy to make a purchase. 
  • Ensure that clickable links for shopping are leading to the right products and that you have plenty of stock available. 
  • Viewers drop off from livestreams if the experience is glitchy or low quality. Before beginning your livestream, make sure you set aside enough time to check settings for audio, video, and recording settings and make any necessary adjustments. 

The future of beauty livestreaming

In 2020, Toby Zhang, one of the earliest investors in TikTok, launched a livestream shopping platform, after monitoring the stellar rise of livestream shopping in China. As someone who has successfully predicted the global success of trends originating in China, he believes that livestream shopping is the future. 


“Social shopping, especially live shopping, is here to stay,” says Zhang in an interview with Glossy, a media brand with a strong focus on the beauty, wellness and fashion industry. “Pandemic or not, consumers want to have more information about their products.  They want to know more before they buy, they want to get their products quicker, and they want to have a personalized experience.”

As of today, Lazada (Singapore), Rakuten (Japan), and Taobao (China) have seen immense success in using live shopping for beauty brands. Streaming content and music is not just for early adopters anymore, and as more people grow comfortable with livestream content, beauty brands are becoming one of the prime movers.

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