‘Shoppertainment’ adds real world spice to digital shopping

The interaction and entertainment elements in these online stores are turning potential browsing to completed transactions

by LYDIA NATHAN/ pic by TMR

ONLINE marketplaces are turning to shopping entertainment or “shoppertainment” to boost sales as selling products at a discount alone is not enough to woo millions to these digital stores.

Consumers to these digital stores do not only want to make a quick stop and purchase items. Instead, they also want to interact with the sellers and other buyers when making their purchases.

The interaction and entertainment elements in these online stores are turning potential browsing to completed transactions.

Lazada Malaysia chief marketing officer Diana Boo said data on consumer behaviour have shown that shoppers need to be entertained while they shop for goods, and reap the rewards during each experience.

She said Lazada has been winning over consumers by turning the site into a lifestyle platform.

“When we started last year’s Lazada 11.11 Supershow in November 2018, we invited consumers to tune into a star-studded show and participate.

“The show was on television but consumers could engage using the app. Some 4.5 million Malaysians tuned in for the 21/2-hour show. It was a variety-styled show with different vouchers to be collected for those tuning in — a first of its kind. We had a good overwhelming response,” Boo told The Malaysian Reserve in an interview.

Boo said live streaming is the next big thing in e-commerce and will be a key focus for Lazada’s business as more people turn to digital solutions for their needs.

She added that live streaming events offer many benefits, including more opportunities for real-time interaction with sellers, allowing consumers to engage and ask questions about the products.

“Sellers can actually answer questions or give feedback on the product. For instance, we’ve seen a female customer asking a seller who was actually a male to put on a dress so she could see how long it was. And the seller did!

“It was a great way for the seller to form a bond with his buyer,” she said. Boo added that a deeper and more authentic level of interaction helps build consumer trust which, in the long run, leads to consumer loyalty and retention.

She said an important way to help sellers on the platform is to assist brands expand the reach without forking out a lot of money for advertising and marketing.

“Some smaller businesses may not have a lot of funds for marketing. So this is a good way to reach a wider target audience and create brand and product awareness. Since Lazada already has the shopping audience on its channel, why not make the most of it,” Boo said.

Shoppertainment has been used in physical malls to draw consumers and families to boost footfalls as shopping complexes’ owners hope the mix of entertainment and shopping would translate to sales.

It is also a successful way to draw people to these physical malls.

Today, online marketplaces are mimicking the same concept but in the cyber sphere. Concerts and party streamed to the audience will draw the public to these sites and convert those visits into sales.