LG kicks off series of live stream shopping events produced in-house

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LG Electronics is joining the live stream shopping trend. Starting today, the company will run the first 30-minute episode in a series of live streamed events featuring LG products called The Upgrade. The show will be hosted by the father-son duo Dan and Lincoln Markham of the YouTube channel, What’s Inside?, but streamed on LG’s Instagram and Facebook Live and on What’s Inside? 

The pair of hosts will take live questions as they talk about LG products, including refrigerators, TVs and computer monitors. If a consumer sees something they like, they can click on the product and will be taken out to the LG website to complete their purchase. LG says they are using this pilot to test the waters, and will be measuring live viewership, how much the streams lead to site traffic and, of course, total sales. The company declined to say how many episodes they will release in total, but that other episodes will be created around summer vacations, back to school and the holidays. 

Livestream shopping is slowly but surely gaining popularity among major retailers — Walmart, Amazon, Nordstrom, and Petco have all turned to the medium this year — but LG is one of the first major consumer electronics brands to try it. As Americans upgraded their appliances and TVs while stuck at home, LG saw an uptick in site traffic and direct sales. The new livestream series is another portal to interact with consumers.

“The pandemic showed us that consumers want a direct relationship with brands,” said Peggy Ang, head of U.S. marketing at LG. “They were clearly okay going to our website to learn more about our products. So we asked ourselves, ‘How could we make that experience more human?’”

Part of answering that question was building an in-house production studio in the fall of last year. Ang said the studio was a way to safely produce marketing content. “The fact we now have this asset, we’re being more bold in what we’re doing with it.”

Consumer electronics are usually big ticket items and often have a long consideration process. Buyers traditionally wanted to physically see a new refrigerator or washing machine before putting down a credit card. But Ang says that the pandemic forced consumers to get more comfortable making large purchases online, especially if they needed items immediately. 

For Gabe Feldman, senior business development lead at influencer marketing agency Viral Nation, LG’s endeavor is a logical step. “This is a category with high-intent search and watch, especially on YouTube,” he said, pointing to traditional unboxing videos where influencers review a new tablet or smart watch. “By producing that kind of content on their own, that gives a brand a better voice in explaining their product.”

LG’s home appliance division did $6 billion in global sales, up 24% year over year, according to first quarter 2021 earnings. Its home entertainment products generated $3.6 billion in sales, an increase of 35% year over year.

TVs, refrigerators and laundry units are among the products to be showcased in today’s episode of The Upgrade. 

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The Markhams have 7.13 million subscribers on their YouTube channel and are known for cutting, chopping, and sawing through various items, including a World Cup soccer ball, an iPhone 12 and a Tesla tire. The channel started in January 2014 as a second grade science project cutting open sports balls. 

The duo has featured (read cut in half) LG’s items on their YouTube Channel, which was one reason why LG approached them about hosting. “Dan and Lincoln help hit that organic and authentic note,” said Ang. “And they already have an established following that engages with them.”

“Platform consideration comes down to the target audience,” said Lindsay Jerutis, general manager of ShopStyle Collective. “If I’m selling electronics, I’d focus on an older audience, which is usually Instagram or Facebook, as they have the purchasing power.”

According to a survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers by the Harris Poll and Sprout Social, 78% of consumers are more willing to buy after a positive experience with a brand on social media, 77% will choose that brand over the competition, and 72% will increase their spending.

“Content that connects and converts — that’s our goal,” said Ang.

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