CEO Sharon Price John says Build-A-Bear’s old e-commerce system is a big reason for disappointing online sales in December.
The vendor’s service lets e-retailers and brands set up live product demonstration videos.
Brandlive, a company that helps e-retailers and brands set up live product video demonstrations in their stores or offices so consumers can learn more about the products, ask questions and buy while watching, has raised $1.6 million.
Oregon Angel Fund led the Series A round. Brandlive says it will use the new funds in part to grow its sales and marketing team.
The company hosts a brand or retailer’s live video presentation and creates a link that clients can send shoppers. Companies can also use Brandlive to train employees on new products or to host company-wide meetings. For example, outdoor gear and apparel brand Marmot uses Brandlive to train its sales staff about the technical features of new products, it says. Brandlive also works with retailers to host live sales events on Facebook.
An e-commerce function enables retailers and manufacturers to upload products into a dashboard and display tabs across the bottom of the video with product titles, descriptions, images, prices and a Buy Now button. Consumers can type questions into a form beside the video during the presentations, and also can share their messages on Twitter, and receive answers from the hosts. New comments appear below that form as they arise.
Annie Howes, an Etsy retailer that sells jewelry-making kits, created a Brandlive event to demonstrate tips and tricks on how to use the tools in her kits, she says. 33% of the customers who said they were interested in watching the live video demonstration did so—66 in total—and viewers stayed 11 minutes on average, according to Brandlive. Howes sold $480 worth of products during the demonstration and 100% of attendees said they would recommend such an event to a friend, the retailer says. Additionally, customers interacted with the live video event 91 times by asking questions, making comments and chatting with other online video viewers.
Along with its funding news, Brandlive announced camera maker GoPro as a new customer. GoPro manufactures a line of wearable and gear-mountable photo and video cameras to help adventurers record their excursions, for example, climbing a 14,000–foot Colorado peak. GoPro sells its products via retailers such as Best Buy and on its own e-commerce site.
Other Brandlive clients include Adidas, Marmot, Nordica, Crock-Pot and Levi Strauss & Co.
Pricing for Brandlive ranges from $199 per month, for a basic video template design, registration tools and access to session archives, to $999 per month with additional features, including custom Facebook integrations and a dedicated support representative. All packages include unlimited live video sessions with chat functionality.