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Hardfacts on Software – The E-Shopping Fun Factor

As competition heats up in the online selling space, online retailers need to get more and more creative to stand out above the crowd.
Two elements of this is infotainment and art. Over the next two weeks we will explore this topic a bit.
Here as some latest developments that Vivian Wagner shared on the www.ecommercetimes.com website:
“We’re more likely to buy when we’re having fun. That’s the theory behind the merging of e-commerce and entertainment, and for many retailers, it seems to be working. “The future of e-commerce is that it will all be integrated digitally,” said iMediaCandy President Christine Marie, “and the entertainment factor is what will help brands stand out.”
“With a wealth of information at their fingertips, consumers are savvier than ever. They’re also much less likely to be swayed by traditional, in-your-face advertising and commercials. They want, instead, to be entertained and engaged by marketers.
In short, consumers just want to have fun.
Marketers and e-commerce retailers are, therefore, looking at ways to provide enjoyment and at the same time sell products. That’s Infotainment!
Home shopping channels have demonstrated the power of live shows and interaction with consumers in selling products. Now, some e-commerce businesses are seeking ways to replicate that experience online.
Natural products retailer Abe’s Market, for instance, has been hosting live shows featuring sellers, farmers, producers and experts. These shows are intended to entertain and inform, and also to create a sense of loyalty and excitement among consumers.
“These are people who are curious about the industry, and we want to engage them,” Richard Demb, cofounder of Abe’s Market, told the E-Commerce Times. “They’re busy, and they want information in bite-size portions.”
Typically the shows have been hour-long segments hosted on YouTube, featuring producers of products sold by Abe’s Market. For instance, one show focused on soap company Chivas, telling the story of the mother-daughter team behind the company’s handmade goat milk soap, the process of making the soap, and the farm where they live.
“The theme is to present a product and the people who make it and let people interact,” said Demb.
The key is engagement, he said. With engagement comes loyalty, which in time leads to increased sales.
“You’re getting information that you’re normally not getting on a retail site,” said Demb. “People want to be engaged. There’s this desire to learn more in a fun way.”

Abe’s Market recently partnered with media and entertainment company Endemol to help in the production of its live shows, the shaping of content, and the analysis of audiences and demographics.
Entertainment and e-commerce go hand-in-hand, David Armour, VP of development programming and sales for digital media with Endemol, told the E-Commerce Times. “When you’re in a platform where you can engage and buy, it’s fascinating,” he said. “You’re one touch away from buying.”
The informational aspect of such live shows, according to Armour, is also key.
“You’re providing good, valuable content to an audience that’s relatively underserved in the marketplace,” he said. “Ideally, it’s about the content.”
Fortunately for Southern African companies, competition online is not nearly as tough as that in the USA or other developed markets. Here we can still get away with putting up a run of the mill online shop. But the days are numbered and we too will need to get more creative. Start thinking!
Enjoy the shopping!

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