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Shoppertainment, the new trend and reality within eCommerce

Originating from China (Aliexpress), live streaming commerce is now one of the most popular consumer-facing digital innovations. This unique concept blurs the lines between eCommerce, entertainment, and everyday lifestyle, engaging consumers in a highly immersive and interactive experience, such as live streaming events, pictures, videos, and interactive games, to ultimately drive transactions. This is something that has gained popularity with the lockdown.

Alibaba-owned Lazada is a good example of how Shoppertainment can be leveraged. One of the biggest eCommerce sites in the region, the company thrives on its in-app live streaming, gamification, and 'See Now, Buy Now" technology to drive sales. Streaming sessions carry a sense of urgency and limited offers to drive sales.
Going Europe
A recent study from AliExpress reveals the rising interest in live streaming commerce in the UK and Europe amid COVID. They also provide guidance for retailers and sellers to leverage this emerging technology. The study surveyed 14,460 online adults in France, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom to understand European consumers' online shopping behaviors and perceptions around shoppertainment activities.

Consumers are open to experiment with the new formats of online shopping and 70% of surveyed consumers expressed interest in this new form of online shopping. They are also open to embrace new trends and technologies that can enhance their shopping experiences. This is a real commercial opportunity for sellers and retailers who knows how to leverage this trend strategically.
The basic purpose of the store has transformed. Forward-thinking physical stores have learned to provide experiences, customization, community sharing, and brand differentiation by offering memorable multisensory brand experiences that can't be gained online. Shoppertainment can be delivered through different forms, e.g: concept stores, AR&VR.

Other cool examples, such brands as IKEA tapped into Alibaba's 3D showroom technology last year and created a virtual walkthrough of a full IKEA store experience for its shoppers. Cosmetics brands like YSL and Estée Lauder leveraged live streaming to promote their bestsellers on Tmall in the lead-up to this year's International Women's Day sale.
What's more
Shoppertainment is a great idea – but retailers should get it right. Make sure you know your audience. Another key finding of the survey is that there's no single road to success in Europe, that market interests and tendencies are different in each country. For example, U.K. consumers emphasize trustworthy and entertaining content that is mobile-friendly, while French consumers prefer content that is succinct and endorsed by influencers. Shoppers in Spain look for the best deal and practical information when they turn to shoppertainment and consumers in Poland value interactions with hosts and other customers the most.

Also, keep it relevant to your store and concept. Don't forget to train the employees and measure the results properly.
Final thoughts
Globally, AliExpress has so far provided more than 44,000 live shows in 13 different languages since July 2019, when it launched the new version of its in-app live streaming feature, drawing an audience of nearly 92 million from all over the world, with more than 84 million interactions (comments and likes).

In light of the current circumstances, consumers are hungry for more – the latest content, the coolest experience, the best gadgets, and right now, those consumers are shut indoors, and they're looking for new distractions.

Brands that are true innovators will see this as a real opportunity to leverage exciting and engaging virtual experiences that keep customers engaged and entertained, keep their brands at the forefront of the customer's mind, and keep business not just ticking over, but booming.
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