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02/09/2022

Forever 21 pilots livestream shopping app

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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livestream shopping app
Forever 21 is entering the livestream shopping space.

Forever 21 is the latest retailer to experiment with shoppable livestream events.

The fast-fashion retailer participated in a live demonstration of the Open4Sale Technology O4S Tech video and payment shopping app on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. During the worldwide debut of the app, Forever 21 connected attendees in Manhattan to a Forever 21 store at the South Coast Plaza luxury shopping center in Costa Mesa, Calif. The livestream event allowed attendees to watch, interact, discover, and purchase merchandise via the video call.

The O4S Tech platform combines live chat, video, streaming, and instant payments that integrate to existing retail POS and e-commerce back-end systems. During the Forever 21 event, store associates were able to leverage O4S Tech's video streaming technology to showcase merchandise available in the store to attendees virtually.

Simultaneously, the app displayed more information on each item like shoppers would typically see on a website. In this manner, customers could see goods in real-time, ask questions, select the item and size, and add it to their shopping cart before checking out, all in the same window without ever having to navigate away from the app to see the retailer's website or to pay. Feedback from Manhattan attendees was positive, according to Forever 21.

Livestream is not the only innovative digital sales platform Forever 21 has recently explored. In December 2021, the retailer partnered with metaverse creation company Virtual Brand Group to build a fashion retail experience on the Roblox virtual gaming platform. Called “Forever 21 Shop City,” the experience is designed to allow Roblox users to own and manage a personal virtual store.

In the virtual world of “Forever 21 Shop City,” customers will be able to buy and sell the retailer’s merchandise, including accessories and clothing. And as Forever 21 releases new collections in its physical and e-commerce stores, Forever 21 Shop City will simultaneously offer the ability to add the same merchandise to each store or buy it for a customer’s Roblox avatar.

"For the demo event, Jarrad La Barrie and Marilyn Orense were the retail store hosts at our Forever 21 South Coast Plaza store," said Brad Sell, CFO of Forever 21 and board member of Open4Sale Technology. "Event attendees viewing from New York commented that Jarrad and Marilyn made shopping fun and exciting while providing exceptional customer service — making the live-video event more appealing than shopping online alone."

“Online retail store sites are static and incredibly limited in providing a personalized shopping experience to customers, which results in an extraordinary loss of sales," said Simon La Barrie, CEO and founder of Open4Sale Technology. "With this event, we were able to show members of the retail industry, press, and influencers how O4S Tech completely reimagines the e-commerce experience. When you bring together video, live interaction, and integrated payment technology in one place — one screen — customers can see products, ask sales associates questions, and feel much more confident to make purchases, which greatly reduces the number of costly returns for retailers."