How live streaming on social media and videos helped brands stay afloat during the pandemic
It’s no secret that the pandemic has turned lives upside down, forcing many to improvise. As a means of survival over the past year and a half, people have turned to social media. It allowed them to find a thread of normality amid all the chaos that has unfolded in recent months.
In that sense, social media has been a boon: from people finding support online against Covid to content creators who remain relevant using the platform. In fact, there are plenty of trends that have emerged from different parts of the world as well – beyond Dalgona coffee, weird foods, and virtual dates.
The trend we’re talking about in particular is clothing stores and boutiques selling their products online through real-time interactions with potential buyers, through Facebook and Instagram lives.
If you are a social media user then you must have come across these videos. A presenter appears on the screen, then patiently waits for viewers (those who follow their page) to join in, before presenting the product.
From saris, kurtis and other clothing to accessories, home decor pieces and even books – the videos get good traction and interaction, catching people’s interest and allowing them a window to peek at. eye and select a product as opposed to actually going to the store and buying them.
What led to this sudden proliferation of such videos, and is this some kind of business model? More importantly, does it bring in decent sales? We reached out to contractors and homeowners to find out more.
Vichitra, the owner of Coimbatore-based Nirjeri Fashions, told the store that it was a “new kind of thing that emerged during the pandemic.” “We have a person who does promotions for our page [in the form of these videos]. Ours is basically a saree brand and we have our own looms of soft / sheer silk sarees and weightless Kanjivaram silk sarees. We do sales all over the world. This platform also allows us to connect with people abroad. This is the main reason [why we are doing this]. “
For Vichitra, entering the social media space was a decision she made when the pandemic struck and people were confined to their homes. “Initially, I was doing my business on a WhatsApp group made up of a few members.”
But when she did a “live” with a fellow entrepreneur and it garnered good “views”, she decided to open her own store and do more of these activities on social media. â€œPeople living abroad, who have their own shops, saw our life and connected with us, and it brought us business,â€ Vichitra said, adding that she intended to continue in hope for greater commitment.
Most of these brands and companies, before they go live, let their followers know about WhatsApp groups, Instagram and Facebook. Sometimes it is also an unscheduled live session.
Debjani Sarkar of Shree Collection, a Kolkata-based women’s clothing store, said she started her business when she lost her job. Calling this trend a â€œmodel of a pandemic,â€ Sarkar said in a telephone interaction: â€œThe pandemic has put many people out of work, including myself. As such, it has been a win-win situation for everyone, especially the housewives who now have a platform that can help them grow taller.
Social media is the best platform for budding businesses, she says. Her own store is a little over a year old and she runs it with her husband. â€œThere is direct interaction with the customer. Since I started doing live, sales have exploded. After the first lockdown, people went digital and prefer it that way. “
Sarkar’s store sells saris, jewelry, etc., and she mostly lives on her own.
While it was understood that social media interactions have been a great incentive for emerging businesses, it has also catapulted those that were already well established. Among them is Ethnic Boutique, another clothing store based in Kolkata. Its owner, Gargi Sonkar, said indianexpress.com that they had done such live sessions before the pandemic as well, but after the lockdown it was the only way for them to reach customers – so they started doing more.
â€œInteraction with customers increased online, as did their demand for products, as no other channels were open. Previously, people wanted to visit the store in person and hold the product in hand to assess its quality. But now they buy everything online, including everyday household items. There is a lot of demand for our products; people tell me to send them sarees and they check the quality from the comfort of their own homes, â€she said.
Sonkar – who runs live sessions herself – said 60% of her Bengal saree collection had takers from different parts of the world.
But, these videos and social media interactions encompass a lot of things, not just clothes.
Bharat Sharma, director of Souvenir Publishers, weighed in on this trend, saying: â€œAs part of raising awareness of educational reforms and spreading the importance of basic education, we have organized many online workshops, including various Instagram and Facebook live feeds for parents. , students and teachers.
According to him, the brand understands and knows the “impressive reach of social media”. â€œReaching a point where parents and teachers are looking to you to not only provide solutions to a young child’s education problems, but also to actively find new and improved ways to open up their cognitive abilities, is always a humiliating experience. When the pandemic struck, that experience became the only source of education in its most primitive form: ideas. And with over 20,000 followers across all social media platforms, Souvenir Publishers has provided ideas and education galore, â€said Sharma.
While we anticipate more trends over the coming year, it will be interesting to see if these virtual engagements carry on and continue for a bit before gradually fading away, which seems unlikely. What do you feel?
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