Live streaming video is the new frontier in social media and the next step in content delivery, offering no lag and instant, live engagement. It is a great way for retailers to interact with their customer audience in real time; and you can also broadcast to a global audience!

Periscope is a live video streaming app for iOS and Android that is owned by Twitter. Many retail brands are finding Periscope alluring because it provides such a unique and easy way to use live streaming to connect with customers. As a result, retailers are not simply speaking to customers, or just sharing photos or videos. They’re letting customers into the brands’ ‘world’ without editing or filters; it’s another way to add value. It's not a passive medium. Viewers aren't just watching; they're totally involved in the broadcast. It’s a truly personal and raw way to communicate with people, and we think that’s really exciting!

Live streaming is expanding the way retailers connect and engage with customers, and the retailers embracing this technology are discovering an innovative new way to deliver content to their customers.

Why Periscope?

Periscope offers huge growth opportunities for retail businesses. The application has many advantages for a retail brand. You can develop interaction and proximity with your community, encouraged by live feedback, and drive loyalty by offering exclusive content.

The number one benefit of the application is the visibility it offers, thanks to its complete integration into parent company, Twitter. Some interesting stats to think about:

Total Number of Periscope Users: 10 million

Total Number of Daily Active Users: 2 Million

Percentage of Periscope users age 16-34: 75%

The numbers provide a compelling story, but how can retailers capitalize on this new trend and use live-stream technology in ways that provides value to customers? We offer 7 ways to capitalize on live streaming:

1. Q&A sessions

Hosting a live video Q&A session is a great way to get instant answers to questions. Organize sessions where you let the audience ask you questions, either live or invite people to send in questions prior to the event via Twitter. Your Q&A can be open to any topic or more themed around a certain message. This is a great way to increase engagement.

Example:

San Francisco-based makeup brand Benefit Cosmetics frequently engages its community on Periscope by hosting both Q&As and live makeup tutorials with its own experts, as well as influencers. These sessions have been very successful, with an average of more than 2,000 live viewers tuning in to a stream. The most recent session received over 19,700 hearts (what likes are called on Periscope).

2. Live support

Sometimes trying to help someone over phone or email just doesn’t really cut it. The addition of a live stream could provide clearer instructions and more of a personal connection, allowing customers to ask more questions along the way. Customers will often have the same questions or concerns, especially after an update or new product launch. This can be addressed in a group setting, enhancing the productivity of your services team by dealing with questions in a mass setting.

3. Announcements

You can use live streaming as a way to tell your supporters about something new happening with your business such as a product launch, new endorsements, flash sales, etc.

Sharing live events with your audience can make them feel more connected to your company. You need to let the audience not just view the event, but be a part of it and create a story for them. Hearing the CEO deliver the news could be more effective than a press release. You can even make it fun!

Example:

Adidas was the first sports company to recognize the benefits of using live streaming to reach a wider audience for a press announcement only a couple of days after the app was introduced. Adidas live-streamed Real Madrid soccer star James Rodriguez signing a deal with the sports clothing giant. This 20-second press event was broadcast from their headquarters in Germany, and though Periscope was new and didn’t have a huge viewer base, Adidas still earned the distinction of being the first company in their industry to promote via Periscope.

4. Behind-the-scenes access and teasers

Invite your followers to your office and showcase your company culture and people behind it. People love getting a sneak peek at places they would not normally be able to visit, which adds a feeling of exclusivity.

Example:

Fashion mainstay DKNY offers Periscope users a glimpse behind the models and runways and into the “closet” where the real work happens through their “DKNY PR Girl” Periscope account.

Retail giant Target takes a similar approach by teasing fashion product launches and offering interviews with designers and others connected to popular products.

5. New product releases

All signs point toward new product release features as a major focal point of live streaming. You could use it to showcase a product in anticipation of a release date, do a live unboxing or provide a first-hand look at beta testing and prototypes. This is an interesting trend to follow, as major brands will likely invest in this strategy to gauge interest and enhance buzz around new releases.

6. Celebrity takeovers

Celebrity “takeovers” on Twitter and Reddit have been around for a while. But its sheer broadcasting capability, high engagement and low cost make Periscope a very attractive platform for brands.

Example:

JC Penney hosted Eva Longoria in its first Periscope stream in April 2016, who introduced fans to her new JC Penney bedding collection and answered their questions from an exclusive launch event held in Los Angeles.

7. Live Events

Is your company hosting an event? Periscope lets audiences watch from all over the world, even if they can't attend in person. "People love the idea of being on the inside," Yunche Wilson, founder of WhoRYou Marketing, said. "Give them a rare look of where the magic happens."

Fashion show’s new role: The fashion show – once an insider event for buyers and key journalists – is becoming a media channel for the public at large. The shows are no longer buying spectacles, but rather content channels for digital media.

Example:

A number of fashion brands have tested the Periscope waters (Marc Jacobs broadcast a live post-show Q&A) but as of yet, no fashion house has put on a show quite as elaborate as that seen by U.S. label Ralph Lauren.

In September 2015, Ralph Lauren used Periscope to live stream their 2015 New York Fashion week show. But that wasn’t all. At the same time, the show was broadcast in London’s Piccadilly Circus.

One final tip to get the most out of live streaming: promote your live stream ahead of time to really maximize viewers. Make the most of hashtags (#scope is a popular one) and tweet at your prospects and thought leaders to promote the live stream.

With retail competition at an all-time high, today’s retailer must find new ways to attract consumers and inspire high levels of customer loyalty. Innovative solutions, such as live streaming, can create a truly differentiated experience with fun, interactive tools that put a wealth of information at customers’ fingertips.

How can you create an exceptional store to customer experience in- beat online competition? Watch our on-demand webinar and learn how leading retailers such as Macy’s, Lowe’s and L’Occitane are deploying wireless communication solutions to create engaging in-store shopping experiences that lead to maximum conversion.

By Craig Barrass

Region Lead EMEA North

Spectralink

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