Is home shopping (... turned TikTok) showing the way?

After having suffered for many years traditional home shopping has seen a comeback globally with the appearance and success of channels such as TaobaoLive from Alibaba.

This introduced a new generation of consumers to a different way to do home shopping. Product content has become more refined and these channels are performing better with younger audiences.

Influencers moving from Instagram into video, first to Youtube and then TikTok, using a short format which is ideally suited to promoting products, marked a major step-forward for live steaming. Dramatically decreasing the gap between a trusted promoter of a brand or product and the buying process has proven beneficial to many brands, particularly in the luxury sector.

In the age of retail digitisation, human interaction could be critical...

The impact of the pandemic has seen a well-documented and understandable rise in e-commerce. However, many retailers are looking to replace or replicate the experiential side of shopping. This is particularly true in luxury where the store and the overall shopping experience are a key part of the proposition.

Some retailers have implemented virtual 'personal shoppers'. This gives consumers the chance to interact with actual retail staff, getting valuable advice from the safety of their own homes. One could reasonably expect this to appeal to older shoppers who want to discuss their purchase before buying.

With Covid driving older generations towards e-commerce, this human experience may provide a valuable service and, if done well, a point of differentiation over the competition. 

... and drive further changes 

The relative performance of these sales processes over artificial intelligence, chatbots and the like should be tracked closely as it could have a major long-term impact…