We’ve recently been looking at the Periscope app and reviewing whether it will be the next big thing for retailers on social media.

 What is Periscope?

Periscope is a live streaming video app that back in January Twitter purchased for $100m – before it hit the public and sparked a buzz in the media. It’s been in beta testing for the past few months but last week the App was launched on the App Store to great hype.

Live streaming apps aren’t new – there is already Livestream, Ustream and more recently Meerkat. But it’s taken a while for this sort of personal live streaming to catch on – Periscope could be the one that kicks it off.

In less than two weeks on the App Store it has become the talk of the technology world, attracting the attention of broadcasters, celebrities, publishers and brands.

The reason being, it’s an incredibly easy way of reaching a new audience and if done right, enjoyable too.

Last week I stumbled across a live stream of Kay Burley, the Sky News anchor, giving a behind the scenes tour of the recent politician debate. I enjoyed seeing what was going on behind the cameras and the 545 other people watching the stream seemed to enjoy it too. Instant comments, likes and dislikes add to the whole engaging experience. You can view it for your self below.

Retailers on Periscope

It is little wonder that some retailers have been very quick to realise what Periscope could do for them. A quick search shows brands such as DKNY, Marc Jacobs, Urban Outfitters, Puma and H&M were among the first to join. Already they’ve ‘scoped’ videos of a walk-through in a H&M closet and a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at the new Puma football boot launch.

 Periscope in practice

There are several ways retailers and brands like these can use Periscope in the future.

  • Events – Live stream the latest presentation, give behind the scenes footage, engage with customers and have live conversations
  • Demonstrations – Product demonstrations to keep your customers engaged.
  • Tips & Tricks – Position yourselves as the experts, show customers how to do things, treat as a sort of FAQ but with a more personal touch
  • Interviewing – Live interviews where consumers can ask questions, which is great for brand awareness and building an audience
  • Promotions – Offer promotional codes for people tuning in to the latest ‘scoped video’
  • Product Launches – Like the Puma boot launch, it opens up what would normally be a closed launch for a select few to mass audience appeal

Periscope will be an interesting app to keep an eye on over the months ahead, when we’re likely to see if it really is the next big thing for retailers or just a phase that fades off as quick as it has taken off.