Saks has planned a livestreaming holiday season

Discussion
“Wardrobe Styling With Paige” – Source: Saks Fifth Avenue
Nov 05, 2021

Saks has been building its livestreaming presence since the beginning of the year. Now, the luxury retailer is dressing it up for the holidays.

Saks, which has held 42 livestreaming events since February, will be hosting 12 shoppable online events on Saks Live between early November and the middle of December, according to Glossy. The events will be led by influencers and experts in the space.

The titles of livestream events, as reported on Fashion United, reveal a holiday-themed lineup:

  • Festive Holiday Looks with Stylist Bettina Looney 
  • Holiday Gifting with La Mer 
  • Holiday Shopping with Nicky Hilton Rothschild and Stacey Bendet of Alice + Olivia 
  • Holiday Glam Beauty with Ash Walker
  • Holiday Dressing Staples with Stylist Allison Bornstien

Livestream shopping began growing in popularity in the U.S. during the early days of the pandemic lockdown when an unprecedented portion of the population tried out e-commerce and a great number sought out new forms of at-home entertainment.

Livestreaming has taken off in the luxury space with brands like Rebecca Minkoff hosting events on major livestreaming platforms.

Analysts are bullish on the model’s continuing growth, even though customer adoption of livestream shopping in the U.S. has long lagged adoption in some parts of Asia.

A study by Coresight Research predicts that the U.S. livestream shopping market will be worth $25 billion by 2023, Yahoo! Finance reported. Numbers published by Facebook suggest that Millennials and Gen Zers will be the prime drivers of the model’s growth. Fifty-five percent of Gen Zers and 62 percent of Millennials say they would purchase something during a livestream event launching a new product.

Saks’ season of holiday-themed livestream events comes in the aftermath of owner Hudson’s Bay Company’s decision earlier this year to spin off its dot-com operations into a separate company called Saks, distinct from the longstanding brick-and-mortar luxury retail chain, Saks Fifth Avenue.

Despite the spinoff, Saks Fifth Avenue’s physical stores continue to fulfill omnichannel functions of the Saks.com website, such as BOPIS, exchanges, returns and alterations.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think Saks will drive significant holiday sales with its holiday-themed livestreaming events? Will livestreaming in the U.S. remain primarily for luxury goods or do you see it expanding to more of a mass audience?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Livestreaming is here to stay, and Saks is moving forward with clear strategies to capitalize on this emerging opportunity."
"Well, they have to do something to try to regain the luster of the Saks brand. This effort, with a complete curated agenda, is pretty cool."
"Saks is smart to be on the leading edge of livestream selling."

Join the Discussion!

13 Comments on "Saks has planned a livestreaming holiday season"


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Brandon Rael
BrainTrust

Livestreaming has emerged as a force to be reckoned with and will continue to gain momentum well into 2022. Social selling has finally become more mainstream in the western hemisphere. With Saks driving interest with their holiday livestreaming event, it’s clear that fashion has a new selling channel.

Ever since Alibaba entered into the fray as the market leader, the livstreaming industry has grown significantly. Alibaba has demonstrated the vast potential for e-commerce via livestreams. Its streaming platform, Taobao Live, drove billions in sales over the 2020 holiday shopping season.

Livestreaming is here to stay, and Saks is moving forward with clear strategies to capitalize on this emerging opportunity. Targeted, authentic campaigns will increase brand awareness and increase revenue growth across all retail and consumer channels.

Melissa Minkow
BrainTrust

Livestreaming will become a key player in the luxury retail game but, in order for that to happen, brands must get the formula right. Saks is smart to craft a full livestream agenda, I just hope they promote it properly and uniquely incentivize shoppers to participate. There’s a lot of untapped potential within livestreaming in the U.S.

Katie Thomas
BrainTrust

Saks is smart to be on the leading edge of livestream selling. As a department store, they have the breadth of products for which consumers would expect to take the time to engage in this type of event, as we’ve seen with Alibaba/Tmall in China.

Given the confusing messaging around sales this holiday season (should I buy now? Or wait for Black Friday? When are the best deals?), this also provides a clear message to consumers to join the Saks livestream events for exclusive products and deals.

David Spear
BrainTrust

Livestreaming is the new physical in-store clienteling of yesteryear. It will grow in popularity and drive significant revenue streams — but even more important is its ability to define a store’s brand image in unique and different ways than typical digital advertising. With the right influencers and experts, it can drive compelling awareness and brand equity faster than any other event or digital campaign.

Lee Peterson
BrainTrust

For reasons known to many of us who have worked for large retailers, the U.S. has been VERY slow to catch on to the livestreaming m.o.

Alibaba’s CEO reported that in 2020, they did over $44 billion in livestreaming sales during the pandemic. You would think many retailers would’ve jumped on that, especially department stores and specialty retailers. But no. However it’s better late than never. It may take a bit to catch on, but with Gens M and Z so in tune with the latest mobile/online trends, it won’t be long. It’s a fantastic tool/instrument for selling. We will all soon see what Alibaba saw.

Dave Bruno
BrainTrust

I have been bullish on livestreaming for the past 18 months, and while I have written that I believe the concept of associate livestreams has greater staying power than influencers, these Saks livestreams appear to be a mix of both. I suspect these will do very well for Saks.

Liza Amlani
BrainTrust

Saks could definitely drive significant sales through holiday-themed livestreaming as it’s a point of difference from its competitors. The luxury customer, as proven in China, is attracted to innovation and technology and pairing that with fashion is a winning strategy.

Will livestreaming as a strategy translate outside the luxury market? Possibly. And it would be driven by hot brands that are exclusively targeted towards sneakerheads, Gen Z, Millennials, etc. The brands need to have a following and a point of difference. Think Croc’s + Balenciaga, Skims + Fendi, Yeezy, Gucci… the world’s hottest brands are livestreaming and using gaming as an opportunity to connect with a younger and more tech-savvy customer. This is where innovative retailing wins and will continue to win.

David Weinand
BrainTrust

Well, they have to do something to try to regain the luster of the Saks brand. This effort, with a complete curated agenda, is pretty cool. I think they do have to promote the heck out of it as I’m not sure the audience that is attracted to livestream shopping necessarily thinks of Saks first (or even second).

Jeff Sward
BrainTrust

I am continually surprised that livestreaming hasn’t grown bigger and faster in the U.S. China has certainly provided the blueprint. Part of the real test for Saks will be if they can provide the customer with a truly seamless experience given the back office division of the companies. We will soon see if financial engineering can be invisible to the customer experience.

Richard Hernandez
BrainTrust

I think this will definitely be a winner for Saks as it has been a proven winner for other retailers including one of the originators of livestreaming – QVC.

Gene Detroyer
BrainTrust

This highlights the mash of media we face today. There are so many types of media competing for our time that each additional one will get less and less attention. There are only 24 hours in the day. What are people going to give up to spend time on Saks?

I think they may do better with TikTok.

Rich Kizer
BrainTrust

Live streaming WILL foster a new breed of customers, and I dare say in a faster-paced way than we may expect. With the predicted adoption a driving force of acceptance and growth will follow. Fifty-five percent of Gen Zers and 62 percent of Millennials saying that they would purchase something during a livestream event launching is huge. Not only sales will be made, but a big advantage here will be guidance of product categories that are most coveted.

The bottom line is that this can lead to higher inventory turn and the ability to improve margins, greatly.

Rich Kizer
BrainTrust

I do think Saks will find success with livestreaming. We are creating separate taste and identification customer groups (generational groups) with their separate and unique preferences. They have their places to purchase products according to their groups tastes, and they will occupy certain places to shop; and it is all being created by unique merchandising by retailers on the internet, the prime driver of the group’s growth. Fifty-five percent of Gen Z and 62 percent of Millennials say they would purchase something during a livestream event launching a new product. That’s power! More to come….

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Livestreaming is here to stay, and Saks is moving forward with clear strategies to capitalize on this emerging opportunity."
"Well, they have to do something to try to regain the luster of the Saks brand. This effort, with a complete curated agenda, is pretty cool."
"Saks is smart to be on the leading edge of livestream selling."

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