Can live streaming bridge the e-tail/retail gap?

Al Sambar, left, Liyia Wu and Ophelia Ceradini.

In a retail environment where people are staying home to shop online more than ever, getting and keeping a consumer attention can be difficult. One new way that is on the rise? Live-stream video selling.

According to several experts in a session at the National Retail Federation’s annual retail conference NRF 2021, live-stream video selling is going to be a huge part of online shopping’s future.

Lauded by converts for its high customer engagement levels, relatability and ability to replicate in-store experiences, live-stream selling involves explaining, demonstrating and selling product on a live video that viewers can then purchase directly from through embedded links. It essentially gives sellers their own instant shopping channel, offering businesses the opportunity to sell directly, answer customer questions immediately, offer special deals, and involve different company personalities and even celebrities.

“This isn’t just about shopping,” said Liyia Wu, founder and CEO of China-based live-stream selling platform ShopShops. “This is about creating a live experience that you’re sharing authentically with an audience. They’re trying to find things that are interesting and excite their lives, so its about sharing your knowledge, your experience with the viewer, and it sells.”

HEARTS Awards auction exceeds fundraising goal

Dallas Market Center and ART, the creative home furnishings network, announced that the HEARTS Awards auction exceeded its fundraising goal.

The online auction, which featured more than 70 one-of-a-kind plates creatively transformed by artists, designers, celebrities, influencers and special guests, raised more than $10,000 for No Kid Hungry, a national campaign to end child hunger.

The top-earning plates were:

  • “Piecemeal: Cotton Candy” by Alexander Julian, which raised $915;
  • “Cobalt Vase Plate” by Anna Bond, which raised $545; and
  • “Boca Grande” by Kelly O’Neal; which raised $305.

“Thank you to the organizations and individuals who worked so hard to help us raise funds and feed families,” said Sharon Davis, executive director of ART. “We look forward to hosting an in-person awards event this summer where we may gather together and celebrate leadership.”

“Generous artists and bidders helped us exceed our goal and providing relief to those in need during a challenging year,” said Cindy Morris, president and CEO of Dallas Market Center. “It is a tangible testament to the giving spirit of our industry community.”

The HEARTS Awards is a one-time special event being held in partnership and solidarity with 13 industry organizations to honor 13companies that have shown outstanding leadership,