Luxury apparel brand The Natori Co. believes livestreaming will enable the brand to appeal to new customers.

Will livestreaming ever be as big in the U.S. as it is in China?  Absolutely not,” says Ken Natori, president of The Natori Co.

“But, for us, from an ecommerce perspective, it is important to be an early adopter of livestreaming,” he says.

Ken Natori, Natori live streaming

Ken Natori, president, The Natori Co.

The conversion rate during Natori’s inaugural live selling event on Oct. 6, 2022, was more than double compared to a typical day. This includes shoppers that viewed the stream live or as a replay. The average visitors to the site also doubled during the livestream event (live and replays).
The retailer’s second livestreaming event on Oct. 22 featured stylist Engie Hassan, who promoted her favorite looks. Viewers were able to live chat during the session and ask questions about products. While Hassan presented, Natori employees answered shoppers’ questions in real time via chat. 
Natori livestreaming with @Engie Style

During Natori’s Oct. 22 livestreaming event with stylist Engie Hassan, shoppers could chat and ask questions in real time.

Livestreaming to connect with new customers

Hassan has 159,000 followers on her Instagram account, EngieStyle, and has tagged Natori on various posts where her clients are wearing the brand’s items among other designers. 


“It was great to have an outside stylist come on and cross-promote in front of our respective audiences,” Natori says.
Online sales were slightly lower than the first livestreaming event. But that was to be expected, Ken Natori says, because the first event featured founder and CEO Josie Natori, Ken’s mother.
Average order value did not change much between the two sessions. But, conversion for livestream viewers remained higher compared with non-livestream viewers, Ken Natori says.
Natori is investing in livestreaming to connect with a new generation of shoppers. The brand selected video commerce vendor Firework to launch livestreaming. The retailer livestreams events from its own website. Natori continues commissioning social media influencers to help shoppers connect with the brand.

Live shopping isn’t a go-to option for U.S. consumers. But that’s starting to change, according to the Digital Commerce 360 and Bizrate Insights post-holiday survey of 1,023 online shoppers in January 2023. 9% of surveyed holiday shoppers watched livestreaming of products. And 4% of respondents said they’d like more livestreaming from retailers in 2023 to lead them to buy more online.

An evolving livestreaming plan

The next phase for Natori is to simulcast live on its own website and via Instagram Live and Facebook Live, he says. This is particularly helpful when appealing to younger shoppers, Natori says.

“These last couple of months have been about getting the technology right and figuring out execution,” he says. “Once that’s more of a smooth running ship, we are certainly going to try to promote it more.”

The retailer wants to expand its brand from its sleepwear, bras and underwear to become an East-meets-West lifestyle brand, Ken Natori says. Influencers are tasked with getting the word out, he says.


“Whether it’s Josie, myself, our employees, or influencers doing livestreams, we’re trying to evolve into more categories,” Natori says. “People don’t know about our men’s loungewear, décor, bedding or footwear.”

Natori launched its Holiday Gift Picks livestream on Dec. 8 featuring Josie Natori.

“It was the best show since launch in terms of sessions and [online] revenue,” he says. “It also had the highest conversion rates.”

The brand plans to feature some of its newer categories, such as footwear, on Jan. 12 and a fine jewelry livestream on Jan. 26.


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