The rise of shoppertainment and immersive commerce - how SMEs can access and benefit from it
What is shoppertainment?
“Shoppertainment” which combines the words "shopping" and "entertainment," is all the rage right now, heralding a new era of consumers shifting to online shopping. This shift to digital is being led by a new generation of experimental and tech-savvy consumers known as Generation Z. With the digital-first consumer's attention span of only a few minutes, exposing them to a plethora of online listings or even requiring them to visit a physical store has become increasingly undesirable. This necessitates the use of Shoppertainment to communicate product information to customers in an engaging and interactive manner.
Shoppertainment can take many forms, as long as it involves incorporating entertaining elements into the in-store shopping experience of a customer. Augmented reality (AR) experiences, for example, allows customers to immerse themselves in the brand experience while shopping. It supplements a Shoppertainment experience for customers by virtually replicating physical instances of shopping such as trying on products before purchasing.
Another example is Quick Response (QR) marketing, which engages customers by providing QR codes that link to interactive content such as games where they can win a freebie from the retailer. Interactive and educational content available both in-store and online immerses the customer in the omnichannel brand experience is also considered a form of Shoppertainment.
The rising trends of Shoppertainment in e-commerce
Given the increased demand for convenience and interactivity in the shopping experience, brands should consider implementing solutions that provide unique digital experiences to stand out in the competitive e-commerce world. According to the Google 2019 AR Survey, 66% of people are interested in using AR to help them shop. Research by NielsenIQ has also revealed that 56% of shoppers said AR increases their confidence in the quality of a product, and 61% said they prefer to shop with retailers that offer AR experiences.
Furthermore, an intriguing aspect of Shoppertainment is that the impact of Shoppertainment and augmented marketing on product is greater for less popular brands, also known as small and midsize businesses (SMB). An in-store field study found that when customers use ‘experience’ shopping to try products, they are more likely to buy from lesser known brands. In addition to encouraging customers to consider other brands, immersive marketing allows customers to determine how well each product fits their needs, reducing their tendency to select the typically well-known brand in their purchasing process. As a result, Shoppertainment or AR shopping may inadvertently level the playing field for less well-known brands, allowing them to compete with retail industry giants.
The effectiveness of Shoppertainment is further endorsed by many large and well-known brands, which are blending traditional experiences with online livestreams and interactive immersive content. Taobao Live, China's leading live ecommerce platform, saw its gross merchandise sales volume increase 150% during the pandemic as a result of the increased interest in watching livestreams. Another example is Hugo Boss, which partnered with leading AR provider Reactive Reality to let customers create personalized avatars to try on Hugo Boss apparel and figure out their size before purchasing.
What are some difficulties of implementing Shoppertainment in commerce?
Much of this type of marketing remains niche today, as mainly large corporations can afford to experiment with and implement these advanced technologies. The road to technology adoption for hundreds of thousands of SMBs around the world is far from straightforward. There are numerous obstacles that prevent SMBs accessibility and adopting, which includes the following:
Most existing solutions are aimed at large corporations and are simply too expensive for SMBs to experiment with.
When it comes to immersive technologies and formats, not many SMB brand marketers are tech-savvy, and there can often be confusion about the various technologies available, such as AR, QR, or VR.
Paradox of Choices
There are too many fragmented solutions available, with limited functionalities and an unclear return on investment. This can make it difficult to justify the investment in experimenting with new technology when a typical SMB brand is focused on the core business of survival.
The actual creation of immersive content (AR, 3D models, animations, landing pages) and the need for coding to implement some of them are the roadblocks, because SMBs lack the talent on their teams. Hiring an agency is also out of the question for them due to its exorbitant costs.
How can CSCONNECT help you tap into Shoppertainment and immersive marketing?
CSCONNECT enables marketers of all sizes to quickly and easily create immersive marketing campaigns and Shoppertainment. Its low-tech, no-code Shoppertainment marketing platform, which combines shoppable AR, QR codes, and smart packaging, can connect the virtual and physical worlds and help you create experiences that sell.
We can provide you with a comprehensive suite of services to meet your various campaign needs, such as virtual product try-on, shoppable augmented reality content, QR code-based campaigns, one-tap product authenticity verification, and much more. If you need some creative inspiration, do not fret because our self-serve Content Editor and ready-to-use customizable templates allow you to easily create content on our platform.
On the other hand, our platform also caters to those seeking greater autonomy and creative freedom, as our software development kit (SDK) allows independent implementation of AR and virtual try-on experiences on client applications and platforms. Finally, you can enjoy all the benefits of software-as-a-service with built-in tools such as campaign management and live analytics dashboards, so you can measure your campaign and be confident that you are getting a good return on investment.
The time has come to reinvent your shopping experience and become a key player in the future of retail. Shoppertainment, when done correctly, can be a foundational element for developing lifelong customer relationships through memorable digital experiences. To learn more about how CSCONNECT can help you transition to the new shopping era, sign up for a 30-day full access trial here or request for a product demo with one of our experienced product specialists.