Shoppertainment: A Wave of Change for the Retail Industry



The retail industry is set to continue the trend of ‘shoppertainment’ in the coming years.

The pandemic locked us inside our own homes for a few months. Boring routine slowly became a comfort zone for many. If you can get anything you want from anywhere through a few clicks delivered at your doorstep, then why not make it your den? The year 2020 made us shift to screens and get used to it. The virtual world was embraced with a big smile. Working areas got adapted onto our houses.

Although the digital phase seemed strange, we did not let it fade away. Clutching on to the new normal, shopping digitally became easier. With retailers adopting ‘shoppertainment’ to digital platforms, shopping became more experiential, virtually though.

There has been a big leap in consumer behaviors and trends since last year. Going virtual demands better interactivity and engagement with the users. The real essence of shopping should be preserved on screens. Social media platforms became a huge yes for great shopping experiences.

Shoppertainment has altered the consumer-experience while buying products, especially through live streaming. Mediums like Facebook live, Instagram, and other social media help boost the e-commerce sector despite a worldwide shutdown. A YourStory article on GetNatty.Live has co-founder Khaizad Hansotia says, “Building on Google’s AI backbone, we are using Google Lens to develop computer vision deep learning to classify and tag elements in images, as well as videos. In the near future, we will apply this model to live streaming sessions to extract real-time analysis of user behavior.” GetNatty uses live streaming to sell a product. This ensures better user engagement and instant feedback. Live streaming enables consumers to ask queries and get a response in real-time. They can experience virtual shopping as if they are in a real store.

Shoppertainment has fused shopping and entertainment to gain better consumer traction by incorporating in-app gamification, video streaming, live streaming, etc. Customer experience is the core of any business. In the current scenario, people like personalized services with lively engaging activities. Shopping should never feel mechanical or somber; it is to be enjoyed. Shoppertainment does not confine to just online stores. Physical stores have been deploying it through gaming sections, interesting seminars, and exhibitions. Covid-19 helped make the experience more personal through digital screens.

According to the Economic Times report in 2020, “Some of China’s largest e-commerce companies are betting big on live streaming. Alibaba’s Taobao Live platform saw more than a sevenfold increase in first-time business customers in February, while Pinduoduo’s live streaming sessions grew fivefold from February to March.” China’s e-commerce market is big on engaging celebrities and social media influencers. This is a great marketing strategy to sell products on current virtual platforms. We can find many Instagram influencers introducing, reviewing, and rating products.

It has been reported how Taobao Live, Alibaba Group’s dedicated live streaming channel, said it would help physical retailers to use the technologies to elevate the consumer’s shopping experience. This shows the possibility of transformation for the retail stores without compromising their customers and revenue altogether. Shoppertainment is sure to lead the retail industry in the coming years with maximum revenue-generation and better customer experiences.