Statistically, most American companies shudder within three years. It’s very sad but very true. If your company makes it to five years, well done. Say hello Dyper and Italic. If your company makes it to a decade, you are a brand. Congratulations to Bombas, Fabletics, and FIGS. Now when you get to 170 years, you are an icon. In this case, the icon is Levi Strauss & Co., and yes, they have been around since 1853. They’re so iconic that most people’s word for jeans is Levis, a branding phenomenon experienced by few. Why are we talking about them? Perhaps it’s because one of the oldest companies in the world is at the cutting edge of marketing to expand their customer base.
Due to being an iconic brand, it comes as no surprise that Levi Strauss has millions of brand loyalists. In today’s consumer ecosystem, such a feat is so much harder to attain. That being said, Levi Strauss was born under the traditional retail model. You could buy their clothing and accessories both at department stores like Macy’s and at their own flagship locations. As ecommerce grew, so did their efforts to turn their efforts into a revenue machine. In December 2022, their website had 300,000 visitors and Q4 revenue was $1.6 billion. Of that, 15% comes from ecommerce. Not too shabby, huh?
Today, Levi Strauss is battling a new problem. How do they endear themselves to Gen Z consumers while maintaining their loyalists comprised of Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials? Imagine how those user persona profiles look at their marketing meetings. Their answer has been simple. According to a recent AdAge podcast, the answer is go hard on social, specifically TikTok, promote environmentally friendly manufacturing, and integrate live selling on their website. You can see Levi’s past live shopping events here.
Inspired by this historic brand’s willingness to try a new marketing channel, here are three takeaways emerging and established brands can learn from Levi Strauss and live shopping.
- Production cost are minimal to be successful
If you watch any of Levi’s live streams, the production quality is good. They are clearly using professional video and sound equipment. However, there’s no influx of additional costs. You don’t see any form of expensive graphics, a myriad of actors, or a bunch of production staff you would typically see on a commercial shoot. The video camera isn’t sell their jeans for them. The influencer they hired who is speaking in a genuine fashion about their brand is selling their jeans for them, and selling them well.
- Live shopping and influencer marketing are a deadly combination
Influencer marketing has been a growing marketing strategy for years now. However, it is quite expensive to scale and attribution is difficult. When you partner with an influencer and have them launch their live show not on their TikTok or Instagram account but on your website, you are instantly validated by those live event viewers because that influencer invited them to come check out your website. That relationship they cultivated will lead to higher sales conversions for your brand.
- Ecommerce’s answer to retail customer service is live shopping
If there is one gripe about ecommerce that hasn’t been answered yet, it’s that personal attention and customer service are nowhere near what they are in a retail store. If you visit a makeup store, that store has trained customer service associates who can answer all your questions, educate you on latest trends and product developments, and physically walk your shopping cart to a checkout counter. That’s what live shopping is in an ecommerce store. You can show them what a product looks like, answer questions, and allow them to check out in stream.
Levi Strauss got to where they were because they never became complacent. They continued to listen to their customers, pay attention to the market, and react accordingly. Their embrace of live shopping is a strong step towards ensuring they will be here for another 170 years.
Whether your ecommerce store is just starting or you are an established brand looking to acquire more customers and build brand loyalty, live shopping may be the solution you are looking for. If your 170-year-old Uncle Levi Strauss can do this successfully, so can you.
If you are interested in bringing a live selling experience to your website, check out Reactive. Start your free trial now, or contact email@example.com to request a live demo.