No time for news? We’ve got you covered. Welcome to the Retail Rundown, your go-to weekly podcast where RETHINK Retail teams up with industry experts to deliver the top trending news stories in retail.

September 21, 2020: Amazon launches luxury shopping, fashion houses find a new home on TikTok, Twitch, micro-fulfillment centers pop up around the globe.

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Hosted by Julia Raymond

Written and produced by Gabriella Bock

Edited by Trenton Waller

 

TRANSCRIPTION

Julia Raymond:
Hi, everyone. Welcome to the show. Today we’re joined by guests Richard Kestenbaum and Aman Khurana. Richard is a regular Forbes contributor and the co-founder and partner at Triangle Capital. Aman is the co-founder of Go Instore, a tech company helping retailers drive sales via live videos, solutions. Aman, Richard. It’s great to have you both on the show.

Richard Kestenbaum:
Thanks so much for having me.

Aman Khurana:
Yes. Thank you very much, Julia. Lovely to be here.

Julia Raymond:
Lovely to have you on. And the first bit of news is about Amazon. We talk about them a lot. They’re making headlines again and their most luxurious venture yet, they announced last week a new shopping experience they’re calling Luxury Stores. This is available in the Amazon app by invitation only, and shoppers can browse exclusive styles from established and emerging luxury fashion and beauty brands.

Julia Raymond:
The new section currently features items from designer, Oscar de la Renta’s Fall and Winter 2020 collections with additional luxe fashion brands to be added in the coming weeks. Amazon says it’s luxury stores platform will also include interactive features like a 360-degree viewing, which allows shoppers to see items on different body types and various skin tones.

Julia Raymond:
Richard, I’ll pass this to you first. What’s your initial reaction to Amazon’s new luxury platform?

Richard Kestenbaum:
Well, Julia, I have a three-word reaction that I almost never say, which is, I don’t know. And the reason why I say that is because I think that using Oscar de la Renta as the example, because their first brand, I believe that Oscar de la Renta and Amazon are opposites. And what I mean is, Amazon is such a fantastic place to shop and so effective when you know exactly what you want. And you’ve done a little research beforehand, or even if you want to compare it to a few other things.

Richard Kestenbaum:
But Oscar de la Renta is in some ways very, very different from that. Oscar de la Renta is perfect when you’re looking for a great occasion dress and you want to see what’s new and be inspired. And those two things are very different in many ways, the opposite shopping experiences. And the question is, as Amazon grows and it needs to continue growing in order to continue to have the culture that it has, increased stock price and maintain its culture.

Richard Kestenbaum:
As it grows, can it expand into that kind of shopping? No one knows the answer to that. So part of that depends on how consumers adapt. Part of that depends on what technology they use to help people to have that discovery experience. And part of that depends on the culture of consumers and how adaptable they will be to having that discovery experience online or on their mobile device instead of in stores. And I think it’s a really interesting experiment and I’m intrigued to find out what happens here.

Julia Raymond:
So Richard, when you started off you said, first of all, I don’t know, and that you rarely say that and you made a good point that it seems that Amazon and this brand Oscar de la Renta are opposites, at least for right now. And the key is how consumers are going to adapt. And then the technology at play. Aman, what’s your take?

Aman Khurana:
So I think the clever thing Amazon have done here is to launch this service now, in the current climate. I personally believe that luxury is one of the hardest challenges Amazon is going to try and take on because luxury is all based around the experience that’s been created. And the luxury brands, the reason why they are able to charge so much and command the following that they do is that they invest so heavily in the experience of the brand and the experience of shopping.

Aman Khurana:
Now, Amazon, fantastic platform. We all use it every day, but we use it for certain purposes. Luxury is really about a shopping experience buying into that brand. And a large part of that is the human element. The ability to go out and shop, the ability to engage with a brand ambassador, the ability to really smell, touch, feel, and engage with that brand. And that’s what Amazon cannot currently offer, although it offers many other benefits.

Aman Khurana:
And I was looking into this actually, and looking at some more details and they’ve been quite clever in some ways. So they’ve made it quite exclusive. It’s invite-only, which is very good to try and get that exclusivity level up. It’s a bit like having bouncers on the door and saying, you’re not invited in until only you’re VIP. And if you go and try to join, you can request access to join a waiting list. I believe now it’s only Amazon Prime members based in the US and invite-only, but you can request to go on the guest list, so to speak.

Aman Khurana:
However, if you drill down a bit further and you go into frequently asked questions, there are four questions that they currently have on the website. And one of them is, “How do I know my purchase is authentic?” Now for me, that’s a real deal breaker when talking about luxury. That’s not a question, you’re not going to walk into the Gucci store and say, “Is this authentic?”

Aman Khurana:
Okay? So this is synonymous with Amazon. They’re trying to move from one area of mass consumption of really battling on price and offering huge convenience into luxury. And to overcome that the reputation that they have and the challenge that they have, we’re going into that. They have to make a lot of investment into not only technology, but I believe, into creating experiences. And experiences involve products, people, and stores. And I don’t know whether they’re willing to make that investment

Julia Raymond:
Really good thoughts, Aman. I love how you brought up the human element. I think that will be pivotal to seeing whether this is successful, if they can supplement that with technology. And you mentioned that exclusivity, having that invite-only launch is a good way to mimic sort of the bouncers that we see at some traditional luxury stores.

Julia Raymond:
Do you think that because the people do trust Amazon, at least for certain things like, you know you’ll get your package on time. I know in the past there have been issues with some of the sellers, in where products are coming from. But I think with apps like The Real Real, and the notion of circular fashion, that people are starting to have more trust in other sellers. Do you think this will be a big hurdle for Amazon to build trust with consumers in luxury?

Aman Khurana:
I think they can get over the trust element, but they have to attract the right brands to get onto the platform. And so they’ve managed to get one brand there and that’s the one they’ve spoken about there. But they haven’t spoken about any others. They’ve also been very clear in the limited information they’ve given out, that this is well-established and sought after emerging luxury brands.

Aman Khurana:
And I believe the reason why they’ve done that is that a lot of the fashion houses will not want to work with Amazon. They will not want to go on the platform. It’s only when they’re forced that they might have to, but they will not want to because they feel it will demean their reputation. It will go against the experience and the brand offering that they’re trying to portray to their customers.

Aman Khurana:
So when they’re talking about well-established and sought after emerging luxury brands, I believe that is if they don’t get enough well-established brands, they’re going to go off to the sought after emerging brands, luxury brands route. And what that means is if you have too many sought after luxury brands, emerging brands that could once again, take it out of the luxury section, because if they’re too emerging, they’re not traditionally luxury.

Julia Raymond:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). I don’t think we’ll be seeing Gucci on Amazon.

Aman Khurana:
No, I don’t think so either.

Julia Raymond:
Or Burberry.

Richard Kestenbaum:
You know, it’s kind of interesting about the evolution of luxury brands attitude, because when online selling started becoming popular, luxury brands said, oh no, we would never do that. And by the way, it’s a conflict with our customers’ interests. So how could we ever do that? And then they realized, well, it looks like we have to do that. So they did it.

Richard Kestenbaum:
And now they’re saying, oh, Amazon, we would never go on Amazon because that’s not the right environment for us. Well, now we’re seeing a lot of brands, even before this online boutique of Amazons, go on Amazon that said they would never be there. So, you know, the products go where the money is. So if the consumers will give Amazon the credibility, and if Amazon can create the right experience, as Aman was saying for consumers, then I think the products will follow.

Richard Kestenbaum:
Will Gucci go there? Certainly not early, certainly not in the mainstream, but eventually if it’s successful, if the right consumers are there and they’re buying, then everyone’s going to have to go there. Just like Gucci has an online shop that they never had before. Will it work? I still don’t know.

Aman Khurana:
Yeah, Richard, I agree with that completely. And you’re right. A lot of these luxury brands have actually been quite arrogant in some ways and taken a long time to move to the online and digital space. And their hand’s been forced in that regard and they have started, although they’ve been very slow. But what the online space does offer them is a direct-to-consumer model that they can attract a mass global audience centrally to their websites.

Aman Khurana:
And I think what they will initially try to do is try and build up their own organic offering to their own websites, through their own social profiles and influences and so on. So that they’re taking that traffic directly to themselves rather than sharing with Amazon. However, as you say, if Amazon builds up market share in this area, they start to get the right brands on board. Eventually, the others will have to follow as we’ve seen in the other sectors within retail.

Richard Kestenbaum:
But let’s also remember what Amazon’s interest is. You know, there was when, when big department stores were more successful, there was always a tension between them and their vendor brands because they didn’t exactly have parallel interests. And each one wanted to use its power to maximize the amount of margin that they get out of each sale. And there was a constant tug of war.

Richard Kestenbaum:
Amazon is no different, if anything, as aggressive as those stores were, Amazon is even more aggressive. So if this is successful, it’s going to create attention. And as Aman was saying, it’s going to encourage the brands to be even more aggressive on their own, to develop their own electronic sales outside of Amazon, because that’s a threat to them. No one wants to be too dependent on a single customer.

Julia Raymond:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). And certainly good points about maybe it will light the fire underneath some of the legacy heritage brands. And I will note that for our listeners who haven’t seen the press release, it is interesting.

Julia Raymond:
And I think Richard, to your point about technology, how far that will be advanced by Amazon, when it comes to fit and buying clothes online, because they are showing different models. How wide are the shoulders, how narrow are the hips, the height and things where you can kind of see how it might fit you, but that will be definitely interesting to keep an eye out for. So thanks to Aman, Richard on that.

Julia Raymond:
We’re going to go ahead and move to our next segment, it is on, and this is a bit of a buzzword these days, micro-fulfillment. So in this week’s grocery news, we took a look at both US and Europe. The US regional supermarket AGB is joining the growing trend of supporting omni-channel services with micro-fulfillment technology.

Julia Raymond:
And this Texas-based grocer is rolling out a number of automated micro-fulfillment centers to support the chain’s curbside pickup and delivery business. Micro-fulfillment technology automates picking, and packing, using robotic systems that efficiently locate and retrieve products stored in a space too compact for human workers. And grocers are using micro-fulfillment at some locations in many areas across the pond.

Julia Raymond:
We look at Carrefour, they’ve partnered with a company called Food X in an effort to expand its food delivery in Northern Europe. The retailer announced plans for a new distribution center in Belgium that will power home delivery and click and collect. The partnership will also reportedly consider expanding to include micro-fulfillment centers.

Julia Raymond:
Aman, I’ll pass this to you first. Do you think micro-fulfillment centers are a passing fad or do they have the capacity to really shift the grocery landscape as we know it?

Aman Khurana:
I actually believe they do have the capacity to shift the grocery landscape. I think it’s been changing for a number of years. We’ve seen that in the US but also across the pond here in Europe. And what we’ve seen once again, accelerated by the current pandemic, is we’ve seen so many more consumers have now turned to the online world for their grocery shopping. And that has really pushed a lot of people over the edge because they never experienced it before.

Aman Khurana:
People didn’t understand what this would be like, because they’re so used to going in, picking their groceries, feeling them, spreading them, touching them, and walking down the aisles. However, the inconvenience of that has always been a bugbear with consumers. And now for the first time, many of these consumers who were traditionally against online grocery shopping have tried it.

Aman Khurana:
And as a consequence, the feedback that I’ve seen is many of them like it, because they’ve seen the advantages that it brings. So coming out of a forced situation is now a real, real driver for sustained change in this area. So I don’t believe this will actually be a fad. I believe this is accelerating a long term change in consumer habit, which is then being fulfilled by a long term change by the actual grocers.

Julia Raymond:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), you said it was definitely accelerated by the pandemic and a lot of traditionally… consumers who are against it are now for it because the convenience factors and other things. Richard, what’s your view on delivery and the partnerships we talked about?

Richard Kestenbaum:
But I believe that the micro-fulfillment center is a part of major, radical, tectonic changes that the grocery industry is facing.

Richard Kestenbaum:
Three major things, factors to keep in mind. One is Aman was saying, the accelerated shift to online because of the pandemic. Two, the character of the grocery business, having very thin margins on product and three, the scale of the grocery business.

Richard Kestenbaum:
Why are those important? Because as more consumers order online, fewer come into the store. And as fewer consumers come into the store, because the margins are so thin, the economics of the fixed overhead in each store makes many, many stores go into the red, makes them unfeasible. And the real estate that the grocery industry thinks of as its anchor turns into its ball and chain.

Richard Kestenbaum:
And we’re going to see as a result, many stores having to close and sitting there empty just as we are seeing on fashion streets all over the world. And the other thing is the scale of the grocery business. Right now, the grocery business in the United States is over $700 billion, which means that to convert the customers to online grocery will require enormous investment and change and risk.

Richard Kestenbaum:
There is almost no way right now to make money in the online grocery business. Because one of the interesting things about the grocery business historically, is that the customers come into the stores and do their own picking and packing and delivering. When you add the labor required to do that for the customer, it makes the business unprofitable. So it requires technology in order to reduce all that labor cost. And that’s why you reading about micro-fulfillment.

Richard Kestenbaum:
Micro-fulfillment is the rage in grocery now. I’m not convinced that that’s the answer. I think it’s part of the answer. There’s another system that I guess you’d call it macro-fulfillment. Giant, giant automated centers built most notably by a company called Ocado in England, which now has 15% of the online grocery market in the UK. That are extremely efficient, but they can’t deliver very fast because they’re so big.

Richard Kestenbaum:
They can only be located in places that are relatively far from consumers. So there’s no such thing as one hour delivery from an Ocado center, it’s just too big and too far. But it is very efficient and that’s important in such a thin margin business. And so I think Ocado is part of the answer for things that you know you’re going to need. Like paper towels and condiments and other household supplies.

Richard Kestenbaum:
And micro-fulfillment is also part of the answer for things that you need on relatively short notice or to fill in, or if you’re making a recipe and instead of running out to the grocery, you order it on your mobile device and it comes in an hour. It’s a spectrum of responses that are needed in order to make the new system work.

Richard Kestenbaum:
What we are seeing is we shop today the same way our moms shopped. There’s a once or twice a week grocery trip in which you get virtually everything you need. That trip, the monopoly of the time that supermarkets have on consumers and taking that once or twice weekly trip, that’s what’s endangered. And when that blows up, the solution will come from many different places.

Richard Kestenbaum:
And that will be very risky for both the supermarkets and for the consumer product companies that live off that once or twice weekly trip. And it opens up opportunity for new technology, new products that have creative ways of attracting consumers to them, and new ways to save time for consumers.

Richard Kestenbaum:
And that’s so exciting, but as we’ve seen with many other legacy industries that adopt to mobile and online shopping, they are vulnerable to new thinking from companies with much fewer resources. And I think that’s what we’re going to see in the grocery business, as we’ve seen in other sectors of retail.

Julia Raymond:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), excellent points, Richard from just listening to your overview, you paint a really representative picture of where grocers are at, because they’re between a rock and a hard place. I mean, something has to give that we can’t, as consumers, keep expecting this new level of full-service end to end for grocery shopping without additional costs.

Richard Kestenbaum:
Yeah. I think there are going to have to be technology solutions. You know, the thing about American consumers is that they demand, but they won’t pay a higher price because it’s like the old made in America thing. everyone wants to buy made in America, but no one will pay more than 5 cents more for it. So they demand it, but they won’t pay. And what that means is someone is going to gather the capital to give it to them. And that means everybody else has to figure out what’s the technology?

Richard Kestenbaum:
I went to the largest grocery trade show almost a year ago, it’s called Grocery Shop. And all the leaders of the industry were there. And many senior people in the industry were there. And when you listen to the leaders of the industry, they talk about being on more or less a glide path to online adoption.

Richard Kestenbaum:
But when I sat in the audience, I asked dozens of people next to me, do you believe that the top leaders in the grocery industry today will be the top leaders in five and ten years from now? Almost no one believed they would be the leaders. They’re standing up there telling you that they’re on this glide path. And no one believes it because the change is so enormous.

Julia Raymond:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), wow. I mean and that was pre-pandemic when you were at Grocery Shop and you just think how fast it took a turn.

Richard Kestenbaum:
Well, you know in that audience, that audience saw that online adoption was happening faster than anybody in leadership was recognizing. No one saw that it would accelerate the way it has in such short time because of the pandemic, but it’s not going back. And that’s a really interesting change.

Julia Raymond:
Absolutely. Aman, do you have any last comments before we move on to our third segment?

Aman Khurana:
I would just say this change and Richard alluded to it there, it is going to create, and is creating mass opportunity. So we’re going to see a number of small agile firms that can come up, both in the technology sector, but also in the grocery sector that can do things better because they can react in an agile way. They can test and land very, very quickly and they can provide new innovative solutions to deal with common problems that are coming up again and again.

Aman Khurana:
And I think Richard’s point, just to echo it, someone is going to see that opportunity and someone is going to put a lot of money behind that opportunity. And when they do, they will start to dominate the market. So, unfortunately, the market is in a tight spot. I think that as you say, as you both said that the consumer does not want to pay the additional cost and the people who are getting squeezed are actually the suppliers, the farmers, the people that provide the groceries to the large grocery retailers.

Aman Khurana:
But there’s only so much further they can be squeezed because I think they’re on their knees as well. So I think innovation is the way out of this, supported by technology, but it has to be quick and dynamic.

Julia Raymond:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), time is ticking. Speaking of, the next segment is Tik Tok. There’s been a lot of buzz in the news about this. So although New York Fashion Week wrapped up last week, dozens of the major fashion brands are continuing to appear in livestreams on social media app Tik Tok. And Tik Tok’s running their fashion month. So through October 8th, the video app series will feature brands like Louis Vuitton, Puma, and Alice and Olivia.

Julia Raymond:
Meanwhile, Burberry livestreamed its Spring/Summer 2021 fashion show last week in partnership with live video streaming service Twitch, becoming the first luxury brand to do so. So that’s pretty big news. Richard, I’ll pass this to you first. We’re a little back to luxury here. What are your thoughts on these major fashion houses, experimenting with Tik Tok and Twitch?

Richard Kestenbaum:
I believe that social media is not established. What I mean is we don’t know what the landscape of social media will be over time. I believe we’re only at the very beginning and I believe that in retail and branding and fashion, there are many things we don’t know the answer to. And the companies that will be successful are those that are willing to experiment because they’re the ones who are likely to find the answers that work for them and adapt as social media and other technologies develop.

Richard Kestenbaum:
In some ways, it’s the same thing we were talking about in grocery. Who’s going to win in grocery, whoever figures out first and best how to use the technology. And that’s true in social media as well. Social media creates an enormous power concentration on the part of the entity that controls the social media. Eventually, I believe the technology will change to allow consumers to control their information and the access to it, and even possibly be compensated for access to their social media as they generate eyeballs.

Richard Kestenbaum:
So I think in a year from now, we’ll be talking about a different aspect of social media and the people who experiment and the people who adapt are going to be the ones who are in the best position to win. It’s very dynamic, more than we’ve ever seen.

Julia Raymond:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), the ones who experiment will be the winners. It sounds like from your point of view, just the same with grocery. Aman, what’s your take, when you hear about these fashion houses partnering with these tech companies?

Aman Khurana:
This is nothing new and there are two real areas here. One is social commerce, where you’ve got live commerce through the social media platforms. The other is using live video to lead human-led sales interactions. And what’s happened once again, and has been really accelerated through this pandemic period is millions of people globally have used live video for the first time.

Aman Khurana:
And they’ve used it to communicate to loved ones, to family members, to friends in business environments, and they’ve got comfortable with it. Now what’s happening is that using live video to interact with brands and retailers is coming to the mainstream. Now, this was already in China three, four years ago. You know, if we look at this year, there’s $135 billion, is the estimated value of the Chinese live commerce market. That’s doubled over what it was last year. Ten percent, a proportion of total online transactions in China are currently driven by live video streaming.

Aman Khurana:
So it’s not new. It was adapted and picked up. I think Alibaba launched its service in 2016. However, we are seeing more and more of it now in the West, and it’s getting more prevalent. And once again, what I believe this type of solution does, whether it’s in the social context or whether it’s in just a live video connection content, it adds the human element to the shopping experience.

Aman Khurana:
And that’s, what’s lacking in the online world. You know, we’re not talking about buying a $10 t-shirt or even buying your groceries. In that regard, you don’t really need to connect to a trusted advisor, a brand ambassador, a real product expert. You don’t need that human interaction for those types of purchases.

Aman Khurana:
But when you’re making a considered purchase and that purchase could be considered for a number of reasons. It could be that it’s a high value item. It could be that it’s a complex item, where you normally do large amounts of research and you would go into a store to talk to someone. Or it could be that the item’s got an emotional attachment. And what you want is the opinion of an expert.

Aman Khurana:
In those scenarios, the best sales asset that these brands and retailers have, all their people, their trusted advisors. And that is what live commerce or live video interactions do for the online world, is bringing the human element into it. And that’s why we’re seeing such great success. And as I said, with the pandemic in place, people have been forced to go down that route and it’s proven to be even more successful than it was before.

Julia Raymond:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). And Aman, this is close to or near and dear to your heart, right? Because Go Instore has live video as a component.

Aman Khurana:
It is indeed. Yeah. So we actually connect visitors browsing retailers or browse websites directly with installed brand ambassadors and product experts via a one-way video stream. And what that does is it gives you the convenience of shopping online, combined with the ability to talk to a human and not a human in a call center that isn’t trained or isn’t representing your brand in the right way, but the actual person that you would connect to, if you walked into the physical store.

Aman Khurana:
And just to give you some stats, what we’ve seen is the growth we’ve seen in the last four months since the pandemic kicked in is about 450%, in terms of the usage, number of calls, and number of clients that we’ve been working with. And these are global brands that have really adapted and taken on this type of technology. Because in the pandemic, what was forced onto them was the fact that because the stores were closed, all of the focus switched to their online operations.

Aman Khurana:
And because all of the resources and focus switched to the online operations, it’s how can we make this better? And an example of this is one of the customers that we worked with in the US market. They unfurloughed 650 staff over the course of a week.

Julia Raymond:
Gosh.

Aman Khurana:
Those staff, because the stores were shut down, those staff were unable to work. We allowed those staff to go back to work from their homes, by connecting to consumers via the website in a live video chat. So, yeah, unfurloughed these 650 staff. And suddenly these staff members were serving customers from their homes. It was just tremendous to see.

Aman Khurana:
So this is an area that’s just going to get bigger and bigger. And what we can see is two streams. One is going direct to consumer and leveraging your own website, your own following on your own platform when you’ve got a lot more control. And the other is using your social channels and using people like Tik Tok, Triller, and others to generate that wider social appeal to get consumers connected to you and your brand.

Julia Raymond:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), certainly. And that is tremendous that you were able to help facilitate that because it’s tough for retailers. I’ve spoken to a lot and they’re trying to balance everything that’s come with the pandemic along with, okay, how do we pick up on these new trends that might last a while?

Julia Raymond:
How do we do video shopping, or how do we use our own employees or leverage our own employees to be brand ambassadors, but also work with influencers. So it’s a lot. What do you guys think about Tik Tok, offering a shoppable live stream with a home shopping network for Gen Z? That was recent. It seems to me almost like QVC for Gen Z.

Richard Kestenbaum:
Well, I think there are a few elements of shopping by video that are important. There’s QVC and Home Shopping Network. And the one-to-many, and there’s the flexibility that Aman was creating for his customers, which sounds just incredible, enabling them to have a great experience at home.

Richard Kestenbaum:
What we’ve seen about the most effective shoppable livestream in China, that’s really at the beginning in the United States or not really even beginning in the United States, is that it creates an instantaneous community. And what I mean is what’s happening on live streams is that it’s not just the experts from the retailer or the brand who are talking to consumers, but consumers on the livestream are communicating with each other.

Richard Kestenbaum:
And that has enormously high credibility. Now you might think when that happens, that friends go on at the same time and they communicate with each other and say, oh, that would look great on you, et cetera. Or isn’t that the right color for you, et cetera. And that does happen, but what’s happening in a much more major way is that strangers are communicating with each other on the live stream and giving credibility to the brand and querying each other and advising each other and chatting in a way that we’ve never seen in any kind of channel before.

Richard Kestenbaum:
And so this new technology has created an instantaneous and instantaneously ending community. That is to say, it exists for a moment and then it doesn’t, and it’s facilitating sales. And so the retailers who can draw an audience that’s interested in their product, that associates and identifies with its product, we’ll have a very engaged, shoppable livestream where the participants will communicate with each other in ways that facilitate sales. And that’s not just QVC for Gen Z. It’s a whole different way of shopping. And that’s really interesting.

Aman Khurana:
Yeah, Richard, I think you’ve hit multiple points on the head there, if you will. This experience that’s been created is being reinforced by, exactly, by the consumers talking amongst themselves. And the impact that has on sales, the stats show that typical online websites and retail sites outside of grocery will convert anywhere between 0.5 and 2%.

Aman Khurana:
When people are engaging in live shopping experiences, if it’s a one-to-many live shopping experience, they can convert as high as 10%. If it’s a one-to-one experience that conversion rate can flip to as high as 20 to 25%. Now that’s rivaling the conversion rate that these brands and retailers see in their stores.

Aman Khurana:
So for the first time, you’ve got the biggest entity in terms of footfall, which is your website, where you can get unlimited traffic. You’re not limited by geographic location. And you’ve got a higher converting tool, which is technology accompanied by human interaction. That allows you to convert this traffic at a rate that you would get if people are attending a physical store. And that’s a very powerful tool for both retailers and consumers.

Aman Khurana:
The other thing that one-to-many content does, one-to-many live video solutions do, is they allow retailers and brands to create content. And this is fresh content that is reusable. So if you think if you’re doing a live product stream and there are thousands of questions coming in, consumers are engaged. Questions are being answered by consumers and being answered by the experts, that content can be reused.

Aman Khurana:
Those questions are surely going to come up again. So that is reusable content, that’s fresh. That can be shown in different settings, social media, on your own website, clips can be made, and so on. So you’ve got another way to create fresh and reusable content. That is a fraction of the cost of getting that content made in a traditional way.

Julia Raymond:
Absolutely. It’s astounding some of these stats that you shared, both of you. Richard Kestenbaum and Aman Khurana, it was great having you, and I hope to have you back.

Richard Kestenbaum:
Thank you so much. Thank you. Great to be here with you.

Aman Khurana:
Yeah, it’s been fantastic. Thank you so much, Julia.