Shoppertainment is the concept of making a website more entertaining for online shoppers, turning a traditional eCommerce experience into something fun and truly engaging. With the help of shoppertainment, brands can keep their customers entertained and increase their likelihood of making one or more purchases. Shoppertainment practices can also help maximize retention and loyalty by keeping customers coming back to you over competitors.
Shoppertainment involves using different types of content to connect with users and entertain them, from live events and gamification techniques to augmented reality.
The origins of shoppertainment aren't entirely clear, with some sources using this term as far back as the 1990s and into the early 2000s. However, the term has since evolved into the concept we know now with a start in China in 2016, with Southeast Asian company Lazada likely being the first organization to coin the modern iteration of the term in 2019.
Although the idea of shoppertainment has become increasingly popular in the western world, it began in Asia when various marketplaces started using live streams to promote certain products. In many cases, this entailed using influencers and celebrities to connect with potential customers and influence them to make a purchase.
Since then, shoppertainment has taken the eCommerce world by storm across the globe and continues to develop into an integral practice for businesses of all types. Today, shoppertainment is critical for helping businesses flourish among audiences and ensure they stand out among a sea of competitors.
Shoppertainment harnesses the power of eCommerce, consumer lifestyles, and entertainment to encourage consumers to connect with businesses through interactive, engaging experiences. Shoppertainment and the immersion it offers are particularly crucial in a post-pandemic world when so many online shoppers are eager for online experiences that replicate their real-world counterparts.
If you want your brand to remain consistently competitive and give your business the upper hand over others in your industry, you'll benefit immensely by implementing shoppertainment in your marketing and other content.
Shoppertainment has begun to surge in popularity all over the world because of the increased reliance on online experiences. Because of an increasing focus on eCommerce, consumers are looking for uniquely engaging experiences that give them the incentive to stick with brands. They want to feel fully immersed in online experiences that give them the same feelings they had when stepping into a retail store, and some online experiences can go beyond what in-store experiences ever offered.
Today's technology makes it easier than ever for brands to offer experiences that truly resonate among customers and keep them on board. For example, innovations in virtual reality can transport users to another world, including virtual showrooms and stores that create a kind of physical shopping experience without the need to leave the home.
There are many ways you can use shoppertainment to appeal to customers online. Some examples of shoppertainment that you can use include the following:
In addition to virtual reality experiences that transport users, you can bring virtual reality elements into existing space using augmented reality (AR). This technology enables people to use smartphones and tablets to view 3D objects in physical space.
For instance, IKEA allows customers to see what furniture pieces would look like in the real world before buying using its mobile app, IKEA Place. Users can see what tables, chairs, dressers, and other types of furniture are in their homes using full-scale virtual models. Users can fix these models in place and walk around to see the product from every angle. This gives them a clear idea of how the product will look and determine whether it will fit in with the surrounding decor.
The main benefit of augmented reality is that it enables customers to essentially sample products without the need for a physical product sample.
People also enjoy gamification with their online experiences. Gamification entails using certain game elements to turn ordinary experiences into a kind of game. For example, many websites use gamification to turn educational experiences into more competitive and engaging ones to make learning fun for children and adults alike. The principles of gamification also apply to other types of brands and experiences, making it a powerful tool to connect with audiences via shoppertainment.
People enjoy gamification, with one brand, Omnisend, finding that gamification elements in emails alone generated a 74% increase in engagement. You can also incorporate gamification in many creative ways to develop a shoppertainment experience that appeals to customers.
Examples of gamification elements include:
Another way to implement shoppertainment is to produce and publish shoppable videos in an app or on a website. These videos could feature an influencer, model, or animation showcasing a product or several products. Users can then select this product and learn more about it on another screen, ultimately leading some to buy it.
You can also allow users to create videos showing their feedback and encourage other customers to give a product a try.
Of course, you can also use the tool that generally started shoppertainment, livestream shopping. This technique involves live-streaming events that include various influencers and brand representatives to promote various products throughout a single livestream event. Throughout the livestream, viewers can ask questions about products or brands in Q&A sessions, click on links, and otherwise engage with the stream to learn more about and shop for all types of products.
Turning eCommerce experiences into contests can also appeal to people's competitiveness and get shoppers more involved with your brand. For example, you could build a social media contest on a platform like TikTok. Users on this platform could post videos of themselves using your products in creative, unique ways and enter them into a contest to win a prize.
Not only can contests gamify the shopping experience and entertain users, but they can also create user-generated content that you can then use in shoppable videos and other marketing content. This would save you time, energy, and money when building your campaigns by eliminating the need for content creation on your end.
In apps and websites, brands could also conduct quizzes and polls that ask users for their opinion or test their trivia knowledge. You might launch a poll, for example, that asks users to choose from a list of products that interest them and enable them to see the results, allowing them to see what other users think. Meanwhile, quizzes could offer a small reward in exchange for guessing the right answers to one or more questions, which can complement other gamification techniques on your platform.
One of the main advantages of conducting polls or surveys is the ability to use the information you collect to continually improve the customer experience or even inform other shoppertainment strategies. This can go a long way in helping optimize the user experience and keep users consistently engaged with your brand and offerings.
If you want to take full advantage of shoppertainment for your brand, you can do so with Storyly. This innovative tool enables brands to display full-screen, interactive Stories in their apps and on their websites. Stories can engage users in many ways with high-quality video, image, and text content that take your shoppertainment efforts to the next level. You can also customize Stories with colors, fonts, and messaging that are unique to your brand and complement other content.
There are different ways you can use Storyly to connect with your customers. For example, you can publish videos and images showcasing individual products or collections. Other content could entail hosting influencers for shopping events to make them an authentic part of the shopping experience. You can also use Stories to conduct surveys, polls, and quizzes that further engage audiences.
One of the latest features of Storyly is the in-Story checkout feature, which allows customers to build carts instantly with the products they see in the Story and check out easily. With this feature, users can add featured products to their cart, choose product variations like size and color, and checkout with Apple or Google Pay, all without leaving the Story.
Ultimately, Storyly can be the missing piece to help you create experiences that are both entertaining and shoppable.
Want to discover what Storyly can do for shoppertainment? Learn more and book a demo call!