5 Retailers Using Live Shopping to Boost Back-to-School Sales

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Meta will reportedly shut down its live shopping feature on Facebook in October, but that doesn’t mean the concept of live shopping is dead. Across the retail marketing space, multi-location retailers are investing in live-stream content as a way to leverage the popularity of social media and engage with Gen Z consumers this back-to-school shopping season. According to Coresight Research, the live stream shopping market is expected to reach $20 billion by the end of this year and $65 billion by 2023.

Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, and TikTok are the most popular shopping live stream platforms among U.S. creators, but a number of startups are developing their own platforms that retailers can use to host live stream content on their own websites and digital properties.

As the back-to-school shopping season heats up, more retailers are creating live shopping shows and hosting live, online events that feature products and highlight actual store associates from their retail locations.

Here’s how five retailers are investing in this strategy during the 2022 back-to-school shopping season.

1. Dick’s Sporting Goods

Dick’s Sporting Goods is taking strategic aim at a younger market with its back-to-school media strategy. The retail giant is investing heavily in Snapchat, adding the platform’s “click to shop” call-to-action button to its live shopping Lens. Dick’s has a history of being an early adopter of social media strategies, having sponsored the first Snapchat video game that let mobile users buy products directly back in 2019.

2. Macy’s

Macy’s Live is a live streaming shopping experience hosted on the Macy’s website each week throughout the year. Customers can chat with Macy’s stylists, they can see real-time product reviews and recommendations, and they can get a closer look at featured items. After each live show, shoppers can view archived shows and shop on-demand. The retailer has gone all-in on its live shows in the run up to the 2022 back-to-school shopping season, hosting a number of shows specifically dedicated to back-to-school style and back-to-school beauty routines.

3. American Eagle

American Eagle is one of a number of multi-location retailers leveraging TikTok to connect with its core audience this back-to-school shopping season. The company’s 2022 back-to-school campaign includes a weekly live shopping show on TikTok that highlights influencers and store associates across the U.S., with the goal of getting consumers excited to shop for the new school year. In 2022, American Eagle also elevated its presence on Snapchat with an “AE Lens” shoppers can use to play an interactive AR game and earn points in American Eagle’s loyalty program.

4. Walmart

Walmart introduced its own regularly scheduled live shopping content strategy with the streaming, social buying and selling platform Talkshoplive back in February of this year. Now, six months later, the company has been able to capitalize on that existing infrastructure by hosting live back-to-school fashion events and streaming content related to dorm life and college moving checklists. Walmart’s back-to-school shows are hosted by celebrities, influencers, and everyday store associates.

5. Fiddlershop

Fiddlershop is the online shopping place for string instruments. The e-commerce retailer is also an innovator in live streaming, hosting live shopping events on Facebook to promote its back-to-school sales. Unlike some competitors, Fiddlershop does more than just show its products during live stream events. The retailer also hosts demonstrations of instruments played by its retail team. That content is then published on the company’s YouTube channel, where it can be watched by customers any time during the year.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.