June 13, 2024

Zara is reportedly bringing its live-shopping broadcasts — already popular in China — to the U.S.

The fast fashion brand is aiming for new ways to attract shoppers as sales cool following a post-pandemic boom, Reuters reported Monday (June 3).

The report noted information from retail analytics company EDITED showing that five-hour live shopping broadcasts in China, held each week by Douyin, TikTok’s Chinese sister site, have helped drive up Zara’s sales since they premiered in November.

“We want to take this to the Western countries, where livestream is not as popular . ..but we think why not — from an entertainment perspective this is like an evolution,” said a Zara spokesperson for the project, which is expected to roll out between August and October in the U.S., Europe and the U.K.

PYMNTS examined the live shopping trend last month, noting that — with commerce and entertainment becoming more and more intertwined — “high-intent consumers are still turning to brands’ and retailers’ websites to get their shoppable content.”

But although commerce-integrated content such as shoppable livestreams are popular in China, consumers in the United States would still rather partake in a more traditional online shopping experience, Vincent Yang, co-founder and CEO of video commerce platform Firework, said in an interview with PYMNTS.

“15 years ago, in the U.S., Shopify, WordPress and Squarespace were very big,” Yang said. “In China, people didn’t even have a laptop. So, that’s why China suddenly leapfrogged the website age directly to the mobile app age. In the U.S., because the website age was so big — it penetrated every single brand — it actually makes it a lot harder to leapfrog to the next generation, which is fully mobile, fully immersive.”

Shoppers in the U.S. seem content with their experiences with retailers and brands’ websites. The PYMNTS Intelligence report “The Online Features Driving Consumers to Shop With Brands, Retailers or Marketplaces” found that 76% of shoppers said they were highly satisfied when they make purchases from a retailer’s site. And 72% said they were similarly pleased with their experience from brands’ sites.

Zara, meanwhile, isn’t just focused on attracting online shoppers. The company’s parent Inditex announced in March it aims to re-open several Zara retail stores in Ukraine after suspending operations there in 2022 following the Russian invasion.

As PYMNTS wrote at the time, the news shows that the company could be “gearing up to win over an increasingly important shopping segment: that of Click-and-Mortar™ shoppers,” who are consumers who “see the virtues of both online and in-store shopping and use digital features that bridge the two spheres to have the most satisfying shopping experiences.”

For all PYMNTS retail coverage, subscribe to the daily Retail Newsletter.


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