While it’s not a “winner take all” landscape, Schilling, of VC firm Headline, says he has yet to find a favourite platform for fashion in the US, in terms of interesting content that is produced well.

Bambuser, based in Sweden, has been a clear favorite among fashion brands. It has raised more than $100 million and won last year’s LVMH Innovation Award. “What started out as proof of concepts in many cases in 2020 have now become long-term agreements, and many retailers are starting to integrate live video shopping as an integral part of their e-commerce strategies, Abrahamsson says. “Most recently, Clarins Group expanded its implementation after a successful pilot in the APAC region, and it was accepted to The Disney Accelerator.

“The promise of live commerce platforms is that they can create personal experiences between a consumer and a product or brand, while inviting fans to be a part of the story, which can foster a sense of community,” says Kelly White, VP of consumer experiences and product strategy at Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. Over time, White predicts, it will be a pervasive and natural way for people to connect with brands and discover products. “We are very excited about the potential and direction.”

As video viewing increases overall — thanks in part to Tiktok and Tiktok-inspired tools — this broader trend is likely to translate into shopping, Morut says. “You can see that luxury brand engagement rates on Instagram have dropped off, but views on IGTV videos have increased, which fits into the broader trend of people engaging with video in ways that they weren’t doing before… It will be really exciting in five years’ time — but for now? It still feels really nascent.”

To expand to the ubiquitous status that investors are banking on, “live shopping still needs to grow from a destination for limited-edition drops to a more common discovery platform for general merchandise,” Droesch says. The industry’s on the right track, Whatnot’s Lafontaine notes, although he admits it’s still a “ways away” from a brand such as Gucci selling on Whatnot. “With a lot of tech trends, people get over-excited pretty quickly. We are still in a phase of tuning the system,” he says, pointing to details such as supply, consumer behaviour, the right product mix and the overall experience.

Boutté, of Kering, says it’s too early to establish a set conviction on the successful luxury formula. “We don’t have a set conviction, because it is such early days, and just like anything innovative, it requires a lot of iterations before the model that really resonates with our target audience kicks in. My bet is that it will develop fast as soon as they make the connection between discovery and purchase; the minute this happens, it will take off quickly.”

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