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Zara takes live shopping global, from China's catwalks to western clicks

Zara takes live shopping global from Chinas catwalks to western clicks


Zara, the fast-fashion giant, is making waves with its foray into live shopping. After experiencing a 50 per cent increase in product size sales in China thanks to their livestreams, Zara is setting its sights on Western markets. This trend, wildly popular in China, is being cautiously adopted by the brand.

From Douyin to your doorstep

Zara's live shopping journey began in November 2023 on Douyin, the Chinese sister app of TikTok. Their concept: weekly, five-hour long shows featuring models showcasing the latest collections. But Zara's approach is different.  Instead of the fast-paced, product-pushing style common in China, Zara's streams are more akin to fashion presentations. Think catwalks, dressing room glimpses, and even ‘behind-the-scenes’ peeks at the crew, this curated experience now resonates with Chinese consumers, with their first livestream garnering a whopping 1.2 million views.

Westward bound, a calculated expansion

Buoyed by the Chinese success story, Zara is taking its live shopping concept global.  The brand plans to launch similar shows on its app and website in the US, UK, and Europe by October 2024. This measured rollout reflects the different e-commerce landscapes.  While livestream shopping is booming in China, Western markets haven't fully embraced it, according to  Zara seems to be aware of this.  Unlike the fast-paced Chinese model, Zara's streams are reported to be more curated and aesthetically pleasing. However, Zara's success in China suggests there's potential. The ability to see clothes modelled in a variety of settings and ask questions in real-time could be a game-changer, particularly for younger, tech-savvy demographics.

Too early to gauge its success

While the Chinese results are promising, predicting Western reception is difficult.  Experts like Andrew Lipschultz of HulkApps warn that established online shopping habits and cultural differences might pose a challenge.  However, Zara's brand recognition and focus on a curated experience could give them an edge.  Ultimately, the success of Zara's live shopping experiment will depend on their ability to adapt the concept to Western preferences and create a truly engaging and interactive experience for viewers.



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