What is Live Commerce and who’s nailing it?

Live commerce.

If the phrase sounds familiar to you, it may be because live commerce is the fastest growing industry in China, with more than 100 million viewers in China watching a live online video event every month.

This success has not gone unnoticed. With the most innovative businesses and brands taking steps to utilise live streaming for more than just user engagement and brand awareness. Today, brands are being inspired and looking towards monetisation via live commerce.

And with fashion authorities in London, Paris, and Milan increasingly looking to experiment with digital formats due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. There has never been a better time for brands to experiment with live commerce.

But, what even is live commerce? And what brands are already nailing it?

Read on to be inspired.

What is live commerce?

Live commerce is the combination of live stream videos and eCommerce.

It offers an interactive shopping experience for consumers, where they can view product demonstrations live, interact with the sellers, and buy the specific products they see, immediately.

Live commerce emulates a real-life shopping experience, but online. It means that consumers can ask questions and view the product before committing to the purchase.

Live commerce has been particularly dominant in China, where the market is estimated to reach  $305 by the end of 2021, which is a whopping 384% growth compared to 2019. Meaning that it accounts for 15% of all eCommerce purchases in China in 2021.

And live commerce is quickly becoming big business for more Western brands. In the shadow of Covid-19 restrictions and tech advancement, eCommerce revenues are projected to grow to a staggering $5.4 trillion by 2022, up from $4.28 trillion in 2020.

Meaning that brands are looking for new and exciting ways to engage their audience, online.

Who is nailing eCommerce?

As mentioned, China is the trailblazer when it comes to live commerce.

But how about brands that are popular in more Western countries?

And what inspiration can smaller and UK-specific brands take from these industry leaders?


Clarins originally ran a pilot program of their live commerce in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. They reported conversion rates of up to 30%, and engaged viewers for up to nearly 7 minutes.

Since then, the beauty brand has expanded their partnership with live video streaming company Bambuser. Which has enabled them to expand their live commerce and live video shopping to worldwide subsidiaries, including their Virtual Boutique which includes product demos, tutorials, and expert advice.

Clarins are also leveraging Bambuser’s One-to-One functionality to offer individual shopping interactions. So that the brand can offer a personalised service to their shoppers, no matter where in the world they are.

Stéphanie Gaspar, Digital Customer Experience Manager at Clarins discusses Clarin’s offering:

“Clarins is dedicated to constant innovation, and that dedication drives everything from the development of new formulations to the way we reach and interact with our customers. While the retail environment is particularly challenging at this time, it has always been in a constant state of evolution. We are proud to embrace Live Video Shopping, not as a temporary answer to a problem of today, but as a long-term solution that addresses the changing relationship between the digital and physical worlds.”

Live Commerce Example


H&M’s millennial brand, Monki, became one of the first major Western retailers to adopt live commerce.

Monki has a history of co-creation through its community, and live streaming seemed like the next logical step in their content process.

This has included in-store shopping events and working alongside their most engaged consumers with user-generated content (UGC) for their channels Monki Television and Monki Magazine.

Their live streams are viewable across 19 territories throughout Asia and Europe. Where live broadcasts are hosted by Monki staff who will try on, demo, and discuss different Monki products. As well as hosting events for their latest launches and ‘drops’.

When discussing customers, Monki editor-in-chief Eleonore Nygårds commented:

“We’re always looking for different ways to connect with them and keep the conversation going… Livestreaming is simply the next step in that process”

Live Commerce Example

Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger are known for their see-now-buy-now approach, bringing their collections ever-closer to their consumers.

The brand has been running see-now-buy-now runway shows since back in 2016. However, their live commerce offering was a turning point within this strategy. Aiming to engage with consumers in more direct and interactive ways.

Tommy Hilfiger’s lives aim to provide consumers with product showcases alongside inspiration. Including hosting monthly shopping hauls where they chat about style tips and inspiring looks – all in one place.

They have even given fans the chance to digitally shop with Formula One World Champion and brand ambassador, Lewis Hamilton.

Live Commerce Example


Nordstrom believes that great customer service lies between convenience and connection. So they aim to provide their consumers with the convenience of finding products, when and where they want them. All whilst creating a personalised experience that serves customers – on their terms.

As part of this mission, Nordstrom launched their Livestream Shopping, with the aim of blending the best of their in-person and digital capabilities.

The channel provides customers with real-time access to Nordstrom employees and brand partners as well as experts within the beauty, fashion, and home industries.

During these shopping events, their consumers can both shop the products they are viewing, whilst also asking questions to the event hosts.

“Through Livestream Shopping, we can meet the everchanging 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,” said Fanya Chandler, senior vice president at Nordstrom. “Livestream Shopping enables us to stay closer to the customer with interactive and engaging experiences that allow for discovery, personalization and service at scale.”

Live Commerce Example

Do you want to keep up to date with the latest innovations in the retail marketing industry?

Then check out our comprehensive resources section which includes blog posts, guides, and webinars on all areas of marketing.

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Meet the author

Komal Helyer

VP Marketing

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