What is Shoppertainment?
Online shopping, entertainment and technology have been combined to create shoppertainment, a highly engaging interaction that elevates eCommerce to offer social experiences, online.
While shoppertainment has gained momentum in the US and UK, its journey began in China. Dating back to 2016, marketplaces such as AliExpress have promoted products through shoppertainment live streams. These have often used influencers to educate and interact with the community of buzzing buyers.
Shoppertainment – the solution to your painpoints?
The changing eCommerce landscape has influenced rising acquisition costs, encouraging brands to foster long-term relationships with their customers.
And while the high-street has reopened, eCommerce sales show no signs of slowing down.
Common pain points brands are experiencing
- DTC competition is rising
- Advertising costs are increasing across all platforms
- How to build brand loyalty that attracts and retains customers
To overcome stiff competition, rising costs and breaking through the noise, shoppertainment creates opportunities to enhance customer lifetime value, boost conversion rates and retain customers through strong brand loyalty.
Why shoppertainment matters in 2023
Yesterday’s eCommerce landscape is a shell of what the future holds for online consumers. More brands are seeing success by incorporating the following values:
- Purpose driven
The entertainment value
Shoppertainment matters because eCommerce is no longer solely based on price. Instead, customers are willing to try new brands based on customer experience, loyalty and trust.
To keep customers engaged on your website remains a task easier said than done.
According to the Contentssquare benchmark data, the average bounce rate for eCommerce sites is 47%
You may be targeting the right audience and have optimised pages across all devices, but the question you need to ask is “how can I push my visitors further down the conversion funnel?”
By incorporating the entertainment tactic in the form of live video shopping, you can capture customer intent and keep them engaged. As a result, customers are more likely to add items to check out if the social element of shopping is present.
This works particularly well with soft bounces, where the visitor shows engagement through clicking on items, reading and viewing additional content.
We’ll talk more about examples of shoppertainment tactics in the next section.
The interactive value
Once a self-driven service, eCommerce is now transforming into an interactive haven.
One advantage of live streaming formats is they allow consumers to participate via chat. This type of data is invaluable and can help drive product marketing and sales actions for the future.
The era of lockdowns and virtual events has encouraged a cultural acceptance of engaging via video. With it becoming the norm, people are more open to interacting via this medium.
In fact, a study by Forrester said more than two-thirds of European consumers are interested in shoppertainment content.
This is a huge opportunity for brands to develop shoppertainment tactics to drive engagement, product discovery and brand loyalty, all in one channel.
The purpose-driven value
Customers who engage with the new eCommerce experience come in with a purpose. They want to discover new products, access discounts, and make informed decisions on the quality of products advertised.
So whether you are using live stream shopping to generate brand awareness, gamification tactics to issue discount codes, or educating your audience, shoppertainment is a solid channel to work with.
Shoppertainment examples – how to introduce it into your customer journey
To leverage shoppertainment technology, let’s revisit the three pillars again: entertaining, interactive and purpose driven. This can be applied across a number of options including gamification, VR & AR (Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality) and live video shopping. Let’s look at some examples below.
Gamification is the use of game mechanics in non-game concepts. It takes the theory to engage and motivate users by introducing gaming mechanics to align with the learner’s goal. This can include the following:
- Progress bars – advance to the goal
- Leaderboards – rank progress
- Badges – show off accomplishments
- Avatars – personify the experience
Gamification in eCommerce is valuable in utilising and stretching the user duration time to maximum effect. For example, in an average two-minute session it is very unlikely that the user will engage with any events on the page, such as signing up for a newsletter.
However, if you incorporate gaming mechanics, the user can actively engage with the website to acquire a discount and subsequently use it at the checkout.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Augmented Reality or AR offers a semi-immersive experience, using computer-generated perceptual information which is then projected onto the real world. They can navigate through a wide selection of products like hair dyes, foundations, lipsticks, and virtually try them on. AR technology can also recommend products based on complexion and even facial structure.
For example, a virtual beauty tool, GLAMlab, allows consumers to digitally swatch the foundation. Since COVID-19, usage has increased by seven-fold and over 50 million foundations have been tested.
Virtual reality is when computer technology generates a three-dimensional environment that can be explored and interacted with by a person using a device.
Many retail giants are researching and deploying virtual reality technology to replicate shopping environments. Amazon, Alibaba, eBay and IKEA are all using VR platforms to disrupt the eCommerce and shopping ecosystem.
Virtual reality technology can be implemented using head-mounted displays, haptic devices, body-tracking sensors, motion controls, 360-treadmills and other wearables. Such technology is allowing companies to infinitely close the gap between what’s real and imaginary.
Live video shopping
The tour de force behind shoppertainment – live video shopping.
To put it simply, live video shopping offers the ability to demonstrate and advertise products to a live, online audience that can interact in that live experience.
Presenters directly interact with the customers through an online video, chat or other features. Because it is live, it reduces the possibility of manipulation of imagery and settings – allowing the audience to trust confidently in the brand.
How can you use live video shopping in your customer journey?
There are two options for live video shopping – one-to-one and one-to-many.
One-to-one video calls replicates shopfloor conversations where the expert can suggest and recommend products following a needs-based analysis. This works particularly well with high ticket and high consideration products in sectors such as consumer electronics, beauty and luxury.
The Confer With platform deploys one-to-one immersive calls across a number of sectors, where retail experts can engage and entertain visitors based on emerging needs.
One-to-many is reminiscent of the old-school teleshopping channels where a presenter, influencer or celebrity will promote a product via a stream.
Big players including Amazon and TikTok are already investing in one to many streams, with TikTok collaborating with Walmart for its shoppertainment purposes.
Due to its social interaction and native approach, a TikTok study found 43% of heavy app users feel that the advertising on TikTok blends with the organic content. Typically, advertising to consumers can seem pushy and stalkerish, but one-to-many streams adds value to any customer interaction you create.
Live video shopping resources:
Shoppertainment may be the buzzword of 2023, but it is changing the way brands engage with their customers and how shoppers look to shop. Live video shopping was once an alien concept but with technical barriers disappearing and the cultural acceptance towards video, it is becoming the primary shopping channel of choice.
To explore the opportunities live video shopping can bring to your customers, download the Confer With whitepaper.