One of the newest trends is the emergence of livestream shopping videos available on social media, e-commerce websites. Several digital and traditional media companies including Pinterest, YouTube and Comcast have recently launched or planning to launch their own livestream shopping initiative. With other media companies in the planning stage.
The programs will cover a variety of subjects including fashion, food, beauty and home. By watching these shows, viewers can learn such details as how these products are made, pricing information, discounts, available inventory and can interact with hosts. Moreover, in trials, the hosts of Pinterest TV personalities had significantly increased the number of followers after live streaming.
The program descriptions on Pinterest TV are:
Christian On: Each week fashion designer and a Project Runway alum Christian Siriano brings to life the most searched fashion terms on Pinterest.
Unfail My: Director and Screenwriter Monica Suriyage is joined by Pinterest food creators to “unfail” the holiday dishes of cooks across the country. From a collapsed gingerbread house to an inedible vegan chocolate chip cookie, Pinterest specialists run to the rescue.
Tom Tries: Olympic diving gold medalist and knitting guru Tom Daley, spends time each week learning new knitting skills from grandmas and grandpas.
Manny Does: Beauty entrepreneur Manny MUA answers the most common holiday beauty needs.
Buy This: Comedian Robyn Schall plays host along with Pinterest creators to show how products and brands like Melody Ehsani and Crown Affair look and feel in real time for holiday gift-giving.
In the future, Pinterest will also consider other programming ideas and hold auditions for potential new shows.
To access content and buy merchandise users click on the TV icon on the Pinterest app. Each Friday, a livestream will be available offering users the ability to buy discounted products from the brands hawked. Pinterest has not provided any revenue sharing information.
Livestream shopping started with Alibaba’s Taobao in May 2016, it became popular elsewhere during the pandemic with lockdowns in place and retailers looking for new ways to entice potential shoppers. Livestream shopping has been compared to the long-form video infomercials and shopping that originated on television with HSN beginning in 1982 and QVC
Tal Chalozin, CTO and Co-Founder of Innovid says, “The pandemic has pushed consumers towards online shopping, both on mobile and desktop but also on TV. There have been several moves recently, Pinterest TV and YouTube included that speak to this next evolution of commerce – shoppable TV. CTV—internet connected TV— gives advertisers the ability to make TV more than an awareness channel and actually drive action-based goals like conversion or downloads while consumers get a seamless and convenient shopping experience. Shoppable TV puts a great amount of power into the consumer’s hand and provides so many moments of opportunity for brands.”
Pinterest, launched in December 2009, had introduced Buyable Pins in 2015 its first prominent foray in social shopping. Three years later, Product Pins was rolled out taking potential buyers to a retailer’s checkout page. Just prior to the roll-out of Pinterest TV, Idea Pins were introduced which were similar to Instagram Stories and TikTok Watch. With younger users migrating to other social media providers, Pinterest’s pinboard, which inspires creation, was starting to look passé. Pinterest hopes livestream shopping will help their creators to sell their wares, boost engagement, grow revenue and reinvigorate the brand.
In the U.S., eMarketer says social buyers on Pinterest increased by 30.5% in 2020 reaching 12 million. It is forecast to grow another 16.4% in 2021 totaling 13.9 million. By 2023 it is projected Pinterest buyers will total 16 million, accounting for 15.7% of all U.S. social buyers. In the U.S., social shopping is expected to reach $36.6 billion in 2021 and more than double to $79.6 billion in 2025. By comparison, in China, sales from social shopping are expected to total $352 billion this year. In the U.S., roughly 50% of social media users age 18-to-34 is expected to make at least one social shopping purchase in 2021, compared to about one-third of adults 55+.
On November 2, Pinterest released their third quarter earnings report. The company announced global monthly active users of 447 million, a 3% drop-off from fourth quarter 2020. In the U.S., Pinterest had 89 million MAUs, a 9% decline from fourth quarter. Despite the decline in users, year-over-year revenue grew by 43%; the net income of $94 million was unchanged.
With the Holiday season approaching, the other media companies joining livestream shopping is getting crowded. Coming on the heels of the Pinterest TV launch is YouTube. On November 15, YouTube’s weeklong Holiday Stream and Shop will be launched. YouTube personalities will be able to sell their own products on the website. Afterwards, YouTube celebrities will be able to sell their own products from videos. With the clout of Google behind it and many channels having millions of subscribers, YouTube could make a noticeable impact on consumers buying products via a livestream.
Even traditional media companies are investing in livestream shopping. NBCU’s Bravo announced the launch of their own interactive livestream shopping show. The three-day event will start on “Black Friday” and will be available on Facebook, Instagram and Comcast’s
Advertisers are also joining livestream shopping. Hasbro recently announced it will host its first livestream shopping event on Friday Nov. 12 at noon (ET). The livestream event will appear on the Hasbro microsite and Hasbro’s Instagram and Facebook Live feeds. Included will be gift wrapping tips, toy creators with special guests.
Other social media giants including Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat are also reportedly developing their own livestreaming or augmented reality shopping opportunities. Innovid’s Chalozin adds, “But, what people aren’t talking about enough is how Amazon will play a huge role in the future of shoppable TV. Amazon recently launched a smart TV in addition to the already popular FireTV and they secured exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football next year, one of the highest viewed programs nationally. This matters because Amazon also has a treasure trove of data on consumer online shopping habits, enabling them to make personalized, seamless shopping experiences at scale on CTV.”
The National Retail Federation projects holiday sales in November and December to grow between 8.5% and 10.5% from 2020 with sales between $843.4 billion and $859 billion, up from $777.3 billion. Included in the total are online and non-store sales, NRF projects an increase between 11% and 15% totaling between $218.3 billion and $226.2 billion.