Bhavesh Shrivastav | Published on May 23, 2022
Shopatainment : Where E-Commerce meets Entertainment
If you google five must-visit places in any city you would inevitably come across some famous
shopping streets. Some of these shopping streets have become an integral part of the fabric of the
city like Fifth Avenue in New York, Bond Street in London, Connaught Place in New Delhi and the list
goes on. Shopping as a recreational activity is an essential part of our lives. We have been doing this
for years and it arguably makes us happy. Mediums of shopping keep evolving from old legend
streets to huge shopping malls to e-commerce sites but the fundamental utility of shopping as an
entertainment form remains unchanged.
One of the intriguing questions to ask is - has this entertainment transcended shopping apps?
Parallelly we have seen the astronomical rise of short video forms and the apps that support them.
Both in India and China, the most downloaded apps have been short video apps in 2021. In 2022 all
the internet users in the world spent about 147 minutes daily on social media, which was 90 minutes
in 2012. It is clear that short videos and social media are taking the lion’s share of content
consumption and engagement.
We have talked about Shopping as Entertainment earlier and short videos as a key driver of Social
Media and when we converge these two phenomena something game-changing comes into being -
There are a lot of data points and research which tell us why Shopatainemnt is going to be one of the
critical elements of e-commerce and I have used one such graph. 55% of GenZ Consumers
get influenced by content for purchase decisions. Another research by Brightcove suggests that 53% of
consumers overall and 66% of Millennials report engaging with a brand after viewing a video.
Organizations, especially Retail and E-commerce have started processing this input in their marketing
strategies. Shopatainment, since it’s also a very effective tool for storytelling, becomes one of the most
effective tools for building these native communities. These in-app communities help brands in
engagement, retention, referral and increased conversions.
Connie Chan, a general partner at A16Z has the below perspective.
Any e-commerce app or website today can add Shopatainment to their marketing strategies in
three simple steps,
- Add a software/SDK to your app with pre-built short video, community and commerce features.
- Use their existing product and influencer content to populate the community section.
- Invite users to engage and create content with several engagement features.
The legendary writer William Gibson has said, “The Future is Already Here, it's Just Not Very
Evenly Distributed.” I feel the future of shopping is to be entertainment-led. A lot of companies would
adopt this and also a lot of organizations would help them build Shopatainment. I will keep on writing
business-specific pieces on Shoptainment. Till next time.
GluedIn is an in-app short video and community cloud that enables complete social functionality inside apps within minutes.
As entertainment businesses race to commission and buy content for their streaming apps to push for new users and subscriptions, the question is quickly moving to stickiness and profitability. The Key Questions being asked are:
- The shiny new tentpole series is attracting subscriptions but are they staying?
- Will more and more expensive tentpoles be required to feed the subscription monster?
- Cant we combine advertising and subscription revenue in one offering?
Some of these trends have been picked up in the recent Deloitte Digital Media Trends 2022 report. These include the struggle of retention as churn rates hit 37% on an average in the United States, with churn rates touching nearly 50% amongst Gen Z and Millennials.
People cancel and return only when there is a new show or a new season that they are interested in. The other trend that gets bigger and bigger is Social which is largely free. And the library of content is massive and seemingly never-ending. Users are watching a short form of feed of news and entertainment which never gets boring and they can return to it several times of the day,
Lets examine why entertainment apps might be having this problem
1. Streaming apps are not focused enough on retention.
The average streaming app could have north of 10,000 hours of content but barely 20% of it gets viewed frequently. Viewers are moving from a tentpole in one app to another. The bruising tentpole war must be fought but shouldn’t a significant, if not equal effort be made to make people discover more content on the app.
How are they going to be attracted to watch the old classic, a series from four years ago that got critical acclaim, a movie from the past that is topical now, a freshly minted star’s early release and so on. Just putting trailers can’t be the answer. There needs to be more marketing effort at an efficient cost.
2. Are new forms of content being considered?
If YouTube and other social apps can combine long form and short form, professional and user generated content in one app, can streaming apps take a leaf out of their book. Can they try alternate content models that are inexpensive and yet don’t clutter the interface. Remember for some of the social media apps, cost of content tends to zero.
3. Are mobiles being ignored due to the obsession with Smart TVs apps?
The younger generation consumes most of their content on mobiles. Streaming apps have got so obsessed with lean back viewing that they are probably missing that they need to rethink their interface and offering for mobile. The mobile offers a chance to recalibrate the content and revenue model without impacting the user experience.
Retention, Engagement, New Forms of Content and the focus on Mobile App possibly leads us to a phenomenon that streaming apps might be ignoring. Having a seemingly endless short video feed and user generated communities to enhance the content offering. A focused approach and replication of case studies from around the world form a part of the playbook to make this successful.
Key elements of the playbook include
- Use a good software to integrate and test the functionality in your app. Building this functionality from scratch could set you back by a year or two.
- Seed the initial content with PGC (Professionally Generated Content) highlights, interviews, features and other forms of surround content using celebs and influencers.
- Run interesting challenges and auditions for reality shows to get short form UGC (user generated content) on the app.
- Keep the interface clean by making this a separate section in your app discoverable by various entry points.
- Make this section free for users and ad supported.
- Brands can also be part of the gamification features and associate themselves with the tentpoles without conventional sponsorships.
For more information on the playbook, visit www.gluedin.io
GluedIn is an in-app short video and community cloud that enables complete functionality inside apps within minutes.