Table of Contents
20 Live Video Shopping Use Cases for the Fashion, Apparel, and Accessories Sector
Fashion brands are often early adopters of new technology that brings them closer to their customers - leading the charge in teaming up with influencers, hosting livestream shopping events through social channels like Facebook Live or Instagram Live, or spotlighting user-generated content on product detail pages.
Live video shopping is starting to surge in popularity for fashion retailers for three primary reasons:
- It can help drive conversions for shoppers who are otherwise hesitant to convert
- Order values and number of items can be boosted when a live shopping associate is guiding the transaction
- Customers are able to get a taste of the in-store experience from the comfort of their homes
While every fashion brand will have their own needs and reasons for offering live video shopping, we’ve gathered 19 use cases that are perfectly tailored to the fashion industry that will drive results across core ecommerce KPIs.
Fashion live shopping use cases to drive conversions
The average conversion rate in fashion, clothing, accessories is at about 1.52% as of Spring 2022. Any conversion rate higher than 2.9% ranks within the top 20% of ecommerce retailers; anything higher than 3.9% would put you in the top 10%. Yet the average conversion rate for connected calls through GhostRetail is anywhere from 10-40x that. Here are just some of the ways one-to-one live shopping can take a reluctant shopper from consideration to checkout.
Find the right garment size
Concerns about fit can cause hesitation for many shoppers, particularly in categories like swimsuits, jeans, and lingerie. Best case, a customer might add multiple sizes to their cart and hope something works, leading to a higher return rate. Worst case? They don’t convert, period. A live shopping fit expert can speak to the appropriateness of product sizing, assess the customer's morphology, and recommend a proper size. This helps shoppers choose their best fit when making purchases, driving conversions while lowering costly returns.
Find the right color
Color can be tricky when shopping online. What one shopper sees may not match what their friend sees on their screen. Seeing a product in real time to get a better sense of whether an item is the shade they were looking for is critical to avoid returns. Live shopping associates can also hold up multiple products side-by-side, or recommend the right color based on the customer’s complexion and coloring.
Shop with someone that has similar physical characteristics (e.g. body type, size, or coloring)
User-generated content (UGC), such as reviews and photos, has become an essential part of the apparel online shopping experience. It’s useful, but limited because it relies on whatever commentary customers are willing to provide. Live video chat allows customers to have a more dynamic conversation with someone that fully understands what they are considering in a more contextual way than is possible through AI, or through combing through other customer’s reviews in hopes of finding a match. This experience can be further enhanced if a customer is able to connect with someone that matches their physical attributes, allowing them to zero in on the right size, cut, or color.
Shop for clothes with someone that has the same interests
Fashion and apparel retailers come in many flavors - from general soup to nuts fashion brands (like American Eagle Outfitters, H&M, or ASOS) to specialists in categories like outerwear (Canada Goose), lingerie (Victoria’s Secret), or activewear (lululemon). With specialist fashion lines in particular, the function or use of a garment often factors into the purchasing decision. Live shopping with an associate that’s got a similar interest or familiarity with uses for a garment can enrich the customer experience. For example, a customer shopping for a sports bra may want to consult with a shopping associate on whether the one they’re looking at will offer enough support for a 5K run, based on their morphology.
Learn about the fabric or material
Detailed photos, videos, augmented reality, and 360 degree images of products are regularly factoring into the apparel shopping experience, allowing customers to zoom in and see products from as many angles as possible. Yet most fashion shoppers will tell you there’s nothing like the tactile experience of touching a garment or feeling it on your body. The next best thing? Connecting with a live shopping assistant. The associate can answer questions about stretch, length, closures, undergarments, and more, well beyond what any product imagery could accomplish on its own.
Compare multiple garments or products
Time to help shoppers avoid paralysis analysis: If a customer is torn between a few garments, a live shopping call can help be the deciding factor in what gets bought. Whatever hesitancy they have to select one garment over another can be serviced by the live shopping associate, to the point where they’re so confident in their choice, the likelihood of a return is much lower.
Launch a new product
Every shopper has their old faithful favorites and every fashion brand has their perennial classics and iconic pieces released year after year; those staples that are almost always available in key shades along with limited edition colorways or other tweaks. And while for some shoppers new arrivals are the spice of life, for many others, they'll be hesitant to invest in a new cut of denim or a new material for a shoe without knowing it's as tried and tested as their beloved essentials. Live video shopping shortens the time from consideration to conversion for new launches by training live shoppers to educate customers on everything they need to know to hit 'buy'. Here's a clever strategy: Make an extra effort to promote live shopping support on new product pages. The extra traffic diverted to those pages through home page, email, and ad promotions will bolster live video shopping calls that drive more sales, ensuring a successful launch for any new product!
Understand the size or scale of an item
Let’s face it: Most shoppers are not the same morphology as the tall, willowy models found on many apparel retailers’ websites. While some brands have made an effort to include items on different sized models or have included a model’s specs, it can still be a challenge to envision a product on one’s self. A live shopping associate can provide real-time feedback on a product’s measurements, particularly if they’re not posted on a site, and even show a product to give the customer a better understanding of how it might fit, getting key questions answered along the way, like, ‘Will that dress be too short?’ or ‘Is this purse strap long enough?’ This also works super well for brands that sell multiples of a particular item - for example, a purse line that has mini and full-sized versions of bags.
See a specific element of a garment or item that's not clear in photos
The photographer’s job is, more often than not, to make a garment look super appealing - less so to capture every last detail. Customers can be quick to send back a product because they didn't like the fastener on a pair of jeans or found the invisible zipper on the back of a dress too tricky to zip up. A live shopping gives customers the ability to see a product from any specific angle that they choose, in real time.
Close a sale with a promotional incentive
Live video co-shopping lets associates walk shoppers all the way to checkout, just like in a retail store. When someone is shopping in-store, it’s unlikely they’re going to leave and try finding a discount on an item of interest somewhere else. Yet that’s exactly what many shoppers do when they’re online shopping. Giving live shopping associates the ability to generate a promo code on the fly and even inserting it on the cart page can close a sale right then and there - especially if their promo code can’t be accessed in any other way.
See the product on someone else
Many fashion brands have changed their tune over the last decade about the types of models they employ, whether based on body type, skin color, or another area of inclusivity. Shopping with someone in real-time - who isn't a model! - can give shoppers an even better idea of whether an item will work for them. Of course the best example of this would be to let a customer shop with someone that’s a similar size, but even just viewing a product on a living human, in real time, can be all a shopper needs to decide whether it's a purchase that will work for them.
Find a gift for someone
Shopping for a gift can be stressful. Some people are too afraid to enter an unfamiliar store, but with online video shopping they can get the help they need. Online 1:1 shopping makes it extra easy for shoppers to find the perfect gift, without pushing them outside of their comfort zone by say, stepping into the women’s department of a clothing store or shopping for lingerie. Instead they’re able to speak privately, 1:1 with a live shopping associate to track down an item - potentially even leaning on that associate’s expertise if they’re more familiar with what the giftee in question might be interested in.
Help low-tech customers convert
Fashion brands with low-tech audiences haven’t seen quite as big of a boom over the past few years. Co-shopping helps customers that feel less comfortable with navigating a website on their own find the items they need, and even walk them through the checkout process, without having to worry about getting stuck or lost when trying to shop online.
Fashion live shopping use cases to drive bigger order values
Most fashion brands are seeing order values of between $49-$100, although bigger brands tend to have more frequent, low-value orders on a monthly basis. With GhostRetail, the average number of items per order typically increases by 25%, leading to overall AOV increases of up to 30+%. Keep reading to understand how average order values can soar when live video shopping support is offered.
Style a head-to-toe look
One of the best use cases for one-to-one live video shopping is personal shopping, which is primarily rooted in fashion and apparel. Personal shoppers have two jobs: Pick products their clients are most likely to buy, and present looks that combine different items. This is exactly the type of service that can happen on live shopping call. A customer could highlight an event or situation they need an outfit for and ask the personal shopper to coordinate a look - one that simply couldn’t be curated through search or AI product recommendations.
Build associate-customer relationships
Live 1:1 personal shopping is a great way to build relationships. These connections can take place within a single call, but they can also grow over multiple calls, where a customer eventually seeks out a specific associate for their shopping needs. This associate can in turn become a trusted influencer on new drops or recommendations, similar to the way personal shoppers build client books. If a shopper adores an associate's personal style, they’re more likely to connect with them specifically and listen to their recommendations, ultimately driving higher order values.
Get guided shopping recommendations for related items
AI-driven product recommendations for items that are often bought together are practically table stakes on most apparel retailer’s websites these days, but they’re not exactly personalized. A virtual personal shopper can show customers how a product is styled or paired with others, or highlight similar items that work well as a set, tailored to a customer's specifications. For example, a fashion retailer might style a skirt with a backless top in an image, and provide a shortcut to ‘buy the look’. But if a shopper notes to their live shopping associate they’d never wear a backless item, the associate can ingest this insight and deliver better, truly tailored recommendations that are more likely to drive up order values.
Fashion live shopping use cases related to geography
The days of massive brick and mortar footprints are over. Instead, retailers are focusing on strategic growth in key markets, and enhancing the online shopping experience. The good news? Live co-shopping can somewhat teleport shoppers from the comfort of their homes to wherever physical brick and mortar stores exist, among other geographic use cases your customers will love.
Enter a customer’s closet
This might very well be the coolest part of live video shopping for apparel merchants. When shopping in store, customers have had to envision what in their closet might work with an item, and try on combinations when they get home. But with live video shopping, the live shopping associate can enter a customer’s wardrobe and help them build outfits based on what they already have. For example, a shopper could hold up a skirt they just bought and ask for top recommendations to go with it.
Check local inventory
Some apparel retailers have found ways to help customers see if their local store has a product they're interested in purchasing, allowing for them to BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store) or just know it should be available when they get there if they’re not quite ready to hit ‘buy’. But if the product visibility isn't super detailed or not available, shoppers might appreciate being able to talk to an associate to physically locate a product in the store, and answer any questions about it before the customer makes a trip down there. The associate could even put the item aside to make it even easier for a shopper to get what they want once they arrive.
‘Visit’ a store from anywhere
While many digitally native or DTC brands are getting into the retail game, their retail footprint is still significantly smaller than legacy retailers, meaning many shoppers might not have access to browse a store in-person. By the same token, many more shoppers simply live in rural areas that have limited or no commercial retail whatsoever. Live shopping allows customers to transport themselves into a physical store environment without having to leave their homes, browsing concept stores in New York City that they may never get the chance to experience for themselves, or seeing a flagship branch of a favorite local outpost.
Take part in an exclusive virtual shopping experience
Live video shopping doesn't have to be restricted to brands that have a brick and mortar presence. After all, a celebrity cruising through the aisles of a fashion retailer would likely incite a riot. But live video shopping can enable this type of interaction on a 1:1 basis. Fashion brands that want to promote the live shopping launch (or ongoing offering) can recruit special guest co-shoppers to answer a select number of calls. Whether these sessions are held in a store or remotely from a guest associate’s home, the shopper will get an unforgettable shopping experience they’ll happily broadcast on behalf of your brand.
The potential for live shopping in the fashion, apparel, and accessories sector is limitless. Fashion is one of the categories shoppers still stubbornly prefer to shop in-store for, but live video shopping and tighten up that gap significantly, giving customers a more personalized experience that drives real results and repeat visits. Get started with offering live shopping today. Connect with GhostRetail for a live demo.