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A breakdown of our Black Friday LIVE shopping event with InClinic Cosmetics

"For a scrappy, last minute activation with very little preparation or promotion - these results are seriously INSANE."


Black Friday has become one of *the* biggest sale events of the year for ecommerce.

As a result, it's also a time of enormous competition between brands to simply get attention.

People are absolutely inundated with emails, ads, social media posts and sms marketing from every brand they've ever shopped with in their lives.

If you want to really capitalise on Black Friday and get the best sales results possible - you have to do something *different* to stand out, draw people in and convert them to sale.

Enter: the live shopping event.

This is something we've wanted to try for a while and have spoken about previously as the hottest new trend in online shopping.

So, we approached one of our client's and a brand we've developed a good relationship with over the last couple of years, InClinic Cosmetics, to see if they might be interested in partnering with us to do a live shopping event for their Black Friday sale.

Previously, InClinic had done a traditional Black Friday Sales EDM, which went out to their existing customers and database but they hadn't really leveraged their social platform to drive sales, bring in new customers and get people excited about products they hadn't tried before.

InClinic jumped on board.

For context, this all happened less than 2 weeks out from Black Friday.

So it was really the most hacky, last minute version of what you might do for a Live Shopping event.

In spite of this, the results were unreal!

Which is a good reminder to everyone that you shouldn't wait until you can do something perfectly.

Sometimes, its better to start with an easier, hackier trial to see how it goes *and* still capitalise on the results of doing something more than business as usual.


Firstly, we decided to run the live shopping event on the Thursday, 24th November, the day before Black Friday.

The reason for this is - in both of our experience - people are generally disengaged on Fridays and Saturdays (weekend mode activated) and decision-making and conversions decline significantly over these days.

We also decided to do the live shopping event on Instagram stories (as opposed to Instagram LIVE) for a few reasons:

  • The stories would stay up for 24hrs giving more people an opportunity to discover the product demos and sale details

  • We could link directly to each product on screen as we spoke about it.

  • We didn't need to do so much prompting to get people to look at stories (something they tend to do naturally) as we would have to get people onto a LIVE.

  • Instagram LIVE doesn't have a shopping feature in AU yet so can't product link.

  • I (Nat) could re-share some of the stories to my personal account to draw people in

We wanted to get clear data on where sales came from, EDM or Live Shopping, so we used two different discount codes which were only visible on the EDM or via the Instagram stories (no codes were displayed on the website or Instagram feed).

In the week leading up to the Live Shopping event we did a reel on InClinic's instagram, and one on my personal and business Instagram introducing the Black Friday event, when and where it would be, what the sales offer would be and what we'd be doing.

We also do stories every couple of days, and another reel including an unboxing of the products that would be featured (unboxings generate lots of excitement!)

On the day, it was a pretty simple set up.

I set up my desk in front of a window for natural light and added my ring light. I set up my desk tripod and phone and had my laptop next to me with all the product details on a spreadsheet and at 2pm, I started creating stories where I was talking directly to camera.

The majority of the live shopping event was me simply demonstrating and talking about products as I went through a full makeup routine.

I had the product link and Black Friday discount code on screen for each product.

I also prompted people to ask questions or get a personalised consult from the InClinic in the DMs (DM conversations have a much higher chance of conversion to sale because you can help that person overcome any barriers by answering questions)


  • The Live Shopping event accounted for 31% of the total Black Friday sales (which is huge considering it was only on stories and delivered to far less people than the EDM)

  • Live shopping purchases had a 22% higher average order value (AOV)

  • 100% of DM consults converted to sale

  • We had a story view retention rate of 30% across the whole live shopping event (number of people who watched from start to finish across all 100 slides!)

  • 77% of people voted for more live shopping experiences

  • 30% of live shopping purchases were first time customers (would never have gotten an EDM)

  • 25% of live shopping purchases were from previous customers who had dropped off (hadn't purchased in 12 months or more).

For a scrappy, last minute activation with very little preparation or promotion - these results are seriously INSANE.

What's really interesting, though, is the insights these results give us about what live shopping does really well.

Based on the number of first time and re-activated customers (accounting for 55% of live shopping sales) we can see how effective live video demonstration is for generating excitement around products and getting people to try products they've never tried before.

How Live Video Experiences generate excitement:

  • Visual information - They allow someone to see how something works in a way that's ultra visual, which means its a) more likely to be retained and b) allows them to visualise themselves using it - extremely powerful.

  • Real, raw, trustworthy - Un-edited, unfiltered, live video is a really trustworthy source of information (second only to seeing something in real life) so there's no questions of 'whether it really is that good' holding people back. This is a HUGE barrier in online shopping that not enough brands are tackling and it's effecting their bottom line without them knowing.

  • Entertainment sells - Live video with someone talking to camera and demonstrating products is inherently engaging and entertaining whilst delivering lots of educational and promotional information that is selling that person on the product without them even realising.

Want to run a live shopping event or online activation but not sure where to start?

We can help!

SZN Social is now moving more into the online activation and community building campaign space (aka the thing I'm the best!) to work within brands over a period of weeks or months to build out campaigns and fun activations that are designed to draw in your target audience and, honestly? Just make them fall madly in love with you and want to buy a piece of you (i.e. your products) to have in their home.

Being a likeable, fun, creative and community-driven brand is a truly underestimated strategy for building a really successful ecomm business.

Get in touch now to chat to us about how we can help your brand grow online.


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