From a global perspective, the digital shift has included livestreaming for eCommerce, a trend so hot in China that it had to be regulated. In the U.S. the events have not caught on yet, but that may be about to change. Two new companies have appeared on the scene to provide the infrastructure necessary to broadcast, sell and track livestreaming shopping.
Popshop Live, which bills itself as an app at the intersection of “social, e-commerce and entertainment,” announced Wednesday (July 8) that it has raised $3 million in funding, bringing the total amount raised to $4.5 million. The funding will enable the company to hire new employees, build new features, develop live content and onboard new sellers when the company launches publicly. That start date was not identified by the company.
Popshop is stressing its ability for any company to set up livestreaming events on its platform. Sellers will be educated via a kind playbook to help them grow organically and sustainably and ensure they have tools they need for success. Tools include real-time inventory management, gamified features, real-time performance stats, and support to help navigate the new world of livestreaming retail.
Founded by Danielle Li, Popshop Live will allow sellers to create and host their own shopping channel on the platform. Li says the company has been attracting users and investors as the pandemic has forced brick-and-mortar retailers online and required online retailers to step up their customer connections.
“Like everyone else, we had to close our store due to COVID-19, and Popshop Live has helped us stay connected with new and longtime customers in ways we didn’t know were possible,” said Jamie Rivadeneira, owner of the JapanLA pop culture boutique. “What I love most about our Popshop Live shows is that, with the live videos and interactive features, I’m able to respond to customers’ requests in real-time, such as adding any products that the audience sees in the show on the fly. I also love that I’m able to bring the same energy as helping customers in person, but to hundreds of people at once. During my first show, I had intended to go live for an hour but ended up doing a five-hour show because of the fantastic feedback from my community. That day, we generated more sales than my existing online and offline channels combined on a typical busy Saturday pre-COVID and we have grown significantly on the platform in just a few months. I’ve seen the power of livestream shopping firsthand and expect the future of my business to rely heavily on Popshop Live shows. We’re even thinking about setting up a dedicated space for our Popshop Live show productions.”
The other U.S. livestreaming company making news is Glamhive, which has developed proprietary software that allows people to work with stylists anywhere in the world. It has specialized in health and beauty brands so far featuring celebrity stylist Tara Swennen (Matthew McConaghey, Alison Janney) and Glamhive Founder and CEO Stephanie Sprangers. Its first digital event, the Glamhive LIVE Style Summit, was an “overwhelming success,” and now Swennen and Sprangers have scheduled a new all-day event for Saturday, July 11. Called the Glamhive Digital Summer Bazaar, the digital conference will feature three tracks, 32 panels, more than 100 different speakers and offer highly intensive “Master Classes” focused on specific topics with in-depth, intimate conversations with globally renowned experts.
“Glamhive’s vision is to make personal styling available to everyone, everywhere and our digital events are a wonderful extension of that. For the very first time, people who are fashion and beauty enthusiasts or work in the industry can learn from the best in the business,” said Sprangers.