How to blend ‘shoppertainment’ and ‘infotainment’ for a successful live shopping event
If you’re planning to host a live shopping event (especially if its your first), one of the top priorities should be to make sure it is deeply engaging for the customer and significantly profitable for your brand. There’s a secret formula that never fails to capture attention, and today we’re going to discuss how you can replicate it.
The secret ingredients to hosting a successful live shopping event
The most successful digital experiences are either entertaining or useful to the end user. Think about the apps or websites that you use most – all of them give you a reason to return to them, over and over again. For a live shopping strategy that is sticky and engaging, aim for these two factors:
SHOPPERTAINMENT + INFOTAINMENT
There’s a difference between the two.
What is SHOPPERTAINMENT?
Shoppertainment blends eCommerce with entertainment in an interactive, immersive format that keeps viewers hooked to the brand. The longer a customer spends on your brand properties, the more likely they are to make a purchase, so it is in your brand’s interest to keep them online for longer.
In a shoppertainment format, the brand makes it clear that it is there to sell, and customers log in with this knowledge. There is a specific purpose, so you showcase your products without being invasive or interfering with your customer’s online browsing time. They know they’ll see demos and tutorials, get limited time offers or discount codes and are keen to interact with the brand or spend the time to understand your product range. In many cases, the live commerce event is so engaging that shoppers don’t feel like they’re shopping, even though they are adding items to carts and swiping cards.
A great example of shoppertainment is Clinique’s Skin Care School – a series of live shopping sessions with actor Emilia Clarke and other celebs and skin experts, in which they talk about their skincare routines, answer questions, and demonstrate the newest products in the Clinique range for viewers to buy.
What is INFOTAINMENT?
Infotainment is a style of communication that combines information and entertainment, but the primary focus is to impart information that convinces the audience to take action.
While it is important to have entertaining content planned for your live shopping session, don’t lose sight of the fact that you are hosting an ecommerce event, and at the end of the day, the event has to be profitable.
Infotainment offers all the information that the customer needs to know in order to make a purchase decision, but the style of communication is lively, engaging, fun, and interactive. If your customers enjoy the sales pitch or product demo, they’re more likely to consider buying.
A great example of brands doing infotainment is Walmart. The supermarket chain’s live shopping strategy includes live commerce events hosted by celebs, industry experts, and Walmart associates. Each event is themed and the products are closely curated to make sure that interested viewers get exactly what they’re looking for.
Blending shoppertainment and infotainment in the right quantities
A successful live shopping strategy mixes entertainment, information, and eCommerce in just the right mix to create a great experience for the viewer.
Here’s a handy guide to help you plan your mix:
As a rule of thumb, your session should be planned in such a way that customers are entertained throughout the event.
Decide on an entertaining, relevant theme for your live session. You could theme it around a festival or a season (Christmas shopping or winter) or around a common event in your customer’s lives (like Back to School or summer holidays). Design a set that reflects the mood, and make sure the host is dressed according to the theme. These efforts create a feeling of participation for viewers and makes them more likely to indulge in impulse buying.
At the start of the event, spend some time discussing the theme and how it affects the lives of viewers. This shows that the brand understands them and knows what they’re looking for. You might like to bring in an expert to offer some tips and encourage the viewers to share theirs.
For example, in a Back to School theme, you could bring in a decluttering expert to offer tips on organizing a child’s school bag, homework desk, and lunch box plan.
Read our blog about How to Score More Impulse Buys
Curate products according to the theme so that your viewers get exactly what they want. At the start of the show, offer a general overview of products that you’re going to be talking about.
Once you begin demonstrating the products, spend time to unbox, explore, and showcase all the features. Use the product in every way that it can be used, talk about multi-use products in detail, and offer tips on how the product can help make the viewers lives better or more fun. If you can help viewers visualize the product in their lives, they’re more likely to buy.
If you have a lot of good reviews or testimonials for a particular product, you might like to go through them to highlight interesting points or showcase reviews on-screen. Social proof is one of the most effective ways to convince potential buyers about the worth of your products.
As important as it is to ensure that your viewers enjoy their live commerce experience, a host must always keep in mind that closing sales is the priority. Seeing a great ROI on the live event is encouraging for the brand and will provide reliable first-party data in the long run.
Take some time at the start of the call to explain how to use the ‘Add-to-Cart’ and ‘Buy Now’ features to viewers, and make a friendly introduction to yourself, the brand, and the products you’re going to be showcasing. If you’re going to be offering any special discounts or vouchers, let viewers know and ask them to watch out. This sets the mood for viewers to buy.
After each product has been fully demonstrated and you’ve answered questions, point out the features that will allow customers to add it to their carts or buy it. If you’re running low on stock, make sure to highlight this.
Looking for more tips on how to be a good live shopping host? Read our blog.
Apart from China, livestream shopping is still in experimental stages in most countries. But it is growing fast in popularity (especially since the multiple lockdowns pushed more buyers online) and is starting to be seen as a powerful tool to generate sales.
A successful live shopping session shows great revenue, engagement, views and interactions, and will encourage brand managers to pursue it as a long-term strategy. If you plan it right and execute it well, you’ll have mastered the art of live commerce.
SWIRL is a full funnel live commerce solution that helps marketers attract, engage and convert more customers. Enable your website or app with the power of shoppable content to increase AOV, boost conversions and retain customers. If you’re looking for a live commerce solution and want to discuss options, get in touch.