Beautycounter is adding a new layer to its livestream strategy, by partnering with buy-now, pay-later app Klarna.
Starting September 8, a four-episode sponsorship from Klarna will begin with 30-minute weekly episodes from Beautycounter’s “Live @ Abbot Kinney [Blvd.]” content studio located in its flagship store in Venice, California. Beautycounter began working with Klarna in Aug. 2020 and started its in-house livestream shopping channel in December of that same year. It hosts up to two livestreams per week. The livestream episodes, hosted by Christy Coleman, Beautycounter celebrity makeup artist and chief artistic officer, will follow the theme of “Better Beauty” offering tips for leading a cleaner beauty lifestyle.
Beautycounter has found early success with its livestream shopping. Blair Lawson, Beautycounter’s chief marketing and merchandising officer, said a 10-minute segment can drive 200-500% more sales than a single day’s worth of sales at its Venice storefront. She declined to state what percentage of customers shop Beautycounter using Klarna or how much Klarna contributes to Beautycounter sales.
“We know that customers are increasingly interested in video content and interactive content, but also interactive shopping experiences,” said Lawson. “This is about reaching a bigger audience and introducing Klarna’s audience to [Beautycounter’s] live content.”
Klarna has 4 million monthly active app users and 20 million U.S. customers, said David Sandstrom, Klarna’s CMO. So it offers Beautycounter a much larger audience to potentially acquire. For Klarna’s part, there is also an opportunity for existing Beautycounter customers to use Klarna for the first time. Beautycounter will, for the first time within a livestream segment, offer a checkout code for a free Beyond Gloss lip gloss to viewers who check out using Klarna.
Klarna raised $1 billion in funding at a $31 billion valuation in March, becoming the most valuable VC-backed company in Europe, according to PitchBook data. Klarna works with beauty retailers like Sephora, Bluemercury, and brands including Aesop and Augustinus Bader. Klarna previously sponsored the content studio of Lady Gaga’s beauty brand Haus Laboratories. It also acquired e-commerce marketing company Apprl in July and social shopping platform Hero the same month. For its part, Beautycounter also has a $1 billion valuation following investment from the Carlyle Group in April.
“We’re trying to create [content] creator-led virtual storefronts. That is really what live shopping is going to become and is what we’re aspiring to create in the West — a hybrid between offline and online,” said Sandstrom.
Lawson said that key takeaways from Beautycounter’s first year of livestream shopping include the importance of choosing strong influencer on-air talent. Klarna has worked with other partners on livestream shopping sponsorships, most notably Macy’s in February. Sandstrom said Klarna’s learnings include how low-fi streaming can sometimes perform better than highly produced shows because it comes across as more authentic. Secondly, the chat functionality of livestream shopping is “as important” as the stream itself, because it promotes conversations and engagement, he said.
Special on-air guests include influencers Ashley Greene (@AshleyGreen, 1.7 million Instagram followers) and Christine Kong (@DailyKongfidence, 124,000 Instagram followers), actress Asia Jackson, and Lindsay Dahl, Beautycounter svp of social mission.
Both companies will promote the episodes via paid and unpaid posts on their own social channels, as well as through e-mail distribution and promotion within Klarna’s app.
“[Livestream shopping] builds community and gives us the opportunity to engage with our talent, the Klarna audience our own audience through the knowledge that we’re imparting the education we’re offering and also the fun shopping experience,” said Lawson.