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Nordstrom Kicks Off Livestream Shopping With Burberry’s Top Looks

The livestream craze is attracting attention across U.S. retailers and audiences alike, and now Nordstrom is throwing its weight behind the video-centric technology.

The department store says it has already set up a string of livestream events through June in an effort to give customers real-time access to Nordstrom employees and brand partners as well as experts in the fashion, home and beauty categories.

Consumers will be able to sign up for upcoming events through a dedicated livestreaming channel at nordstromrsvp.com/nlive. During each livestream shopping event, customers can shop products available at Nordstrom.com, participate in a live chat and ask questions of the experts hosting the events.

Nordstrom is getting livestreaming off the ground with the help of top luxury brands like Burberry, Charlotte Tilbury, Giorgio Armani, Bobbi Brown and Tom Ford.

The first event, a virtual styling event in partnership with Burberry, takes place Thursday at the Nordstrom styling lounge in New York City. The event will feature a commentated fashion presentation by stylist José Ramón Reyes.

The presentation will focus on how to wear Burberry runway looks and style them by mixing and matching with other pieces from the collection. Additionally, the stream will include pre-recorded content featuring their runway show and will conclude with a Q&A session with Reyes and a Nordstrom employee.

A second livestream follows on Friday. The “Spring Beauty Trend Happy Hour” on March 19 informs viewers about skincare and hair care tips, tricks and trends. Beauty experts include Erin Stein of cosmetics brand Charlotte Tilbury, Dawn Stultz of hair styling service Drybar, Dr. Michelle Henry of skincare brand Kiehl’s and Sharon Chuter, founder of Uoma Beauty.

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Four more livestream events are taking place in the schedule so far, with two set for April, one in May and one in June. The final event on June 10 is scheduled to include an appearance from Charlotte Tilbury herself and her professional team as she shares her personal favorite products and explains how to create her signature looks.

“Through Livestream Shopping, we can meet the ever-changing needs and expectations of our customers and equip our team with more tools to deliver on our commitment to serve our customer wherever, whenever and however they want to shop,” Fanya Chandler, senior vice president at Nordstrom, said in a statement. “Livestream Shopping enables us to stay closer to the customer with interactive and engaging experiences that allow for discovery, personalization and service at scale.”

Nordstrom debuts livestream shopping with new Burberry fashion.
Burberry pre-fall WWD

Already a significant part of the shopping experience in China, U.S. retailers have started to catch on to livestreaming since stores were forced to temporarily close early on in the pandemic. Coresight Research is incredibly bullish on the prospects of the channel, projecting that livestreaming could become a $25 billion market in the U.S. by 2023.

As of October 2020, China’s livestreaming e-commerce market nearly doubled from $63 billion to $125 billion across major platforms within a year’s span, according to Coresight founder and CEO Deborah Weinswig.

Department stores have sought to rejuvenate their businesses to attract newer, younger audiences, and livestreaming has been a component of that effort. Throughout the holiday season, J.C.Penney streamed its JCP Live segment on Facebook, YouTube and jcp.com every Friday, with each event curated on themes such as health and wellness, family fun, top tech and cozy comfort.

Items promoted during each show included a Home Expressions 30-piece dinnerware set, a Power XL Vortex air fryer and a Sharper Image s’mores maker, with shoppers encouraged to submit comments and questions throughout the roughly half-hour show.

And Macy’s played a major part in the Cosmo x Klarna “Hauliday” sale, partnering with livestream commerce experience provider ShopShops to host four separate live events at its Herald Square flagship in New York City. Nata Dvir, chief merchandising officer at Macy’s, described the Hauliday event as a “perfect fit” for the department store, especially as the retailer sought to explore new ways to “inspire our customers’ personal style.”

Prior to jumping into livestream shopping, Nordstrom had hosted over 50 virtual events since the beginning of 2020. These events are viewable through the Nordstrom RSVP portal, and play via Zoom. But with its own channel, as opposed to jumping on with an established social media player, the luxury retailer has more leeway to test, learn and adapt to how it approaches livestream shopping going ahead.

Also giving way to the livestreaming capabilities, Nordstrom has enabled its in-store stylists to create and share shoppable style ideas on their social media platforms and has launched virtual styling appointments, both within the past year.

In the blog post introducing the concept, the retailer highlighted how it can provide “customers the convenience of finding products, when and where they want it while creating a personalized experience.” This aligns with one of the retailer’s three areas of highest priority in 2021, to increase the velocity of its digital business, as highlighted by CEO Erik Nordstrom in the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call.

“We’re focused on more effectively translating the heritage of service that defines us in this digitally connected world,” Nordstrom said in the call. “This means delivering personalization at scale by creating greater linkages between digital and physical experiences.”