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Hardfacts on Software – E-Shopping Fun Factor 2

Rain is in the air! Who would have thought that our small rainy season would simply not be there this year? After all the good rains we had over the last two years? Well, there is a cycle to this and the next drought will definitely be upon us soon. Maybe not this year, maybe next, but then again – maybe this year! Anyway – I don’t want to fuel the concerns of the farmers. Let me rather focus on what I am supposed to write about – namely e-commerce.
Last week I highlighted some of the latest developments in bringing fun to online shopping – in an effort to make each site more unique and thus get users to stick around longer and buy more. Let’s have a look at more of what Vivian Wagner shared on the www.ecommercetimes.com website:
“The Power of Art.
Some approaches to entertaining e-commerce focus less on information and more on the power of storytelling, artistic creation and celebrities to move consumers to buy. Such marketing ploys have the ability both to capture an audience and, subtly, to sell that audience on the brand and its products.
The key to much of this kind of marketing is the development of new forms of that old standby, product placement. A star in a music video, for instance, might be wearing sunglasses that a consumer can click on and buy in an instant. (Remember my article about Kiosked?)
“The future of e-commerce is that it will all be integrated digitally,” Christine Marie, president and founder of marketing company iMediaCandy, told the E-Commerce Times, “and the entertainment factor is what will help brands stand out.”
So what makes something entertaining?
“The things that go viral are funny, shocking or cool,” said Marie. “Entertainment is sticky. You’ll go to a website where you think you’ll have some enjoyment.”
Entertaining marketing is also more likely to be shared among people, leading to what’s being called “word of mouse.”
“People want to talk about things,” Tolga Katas, iMedia Candy’s CTO, told the E-Commerce Times. “You have to know your consumers are smart and well-connected.”
This interconnectivity between consumers has led to a refiguring of the concept of “celebrity.” It once was the case that only national or international celebrities had enough clout to sell products through endorsements or product placement.
Now, though, local celebrities, bloggers, and others with influence in the digital world can boost sales just by posting a simple “like” on Facebook, or mentioning a product in a blog post – and they’re often cheaper to get than big-name celebrities.
“There are a lot of tiny little superstars – people who are extremely influential in the community they’re in,” explained Katas.
Artists, too, can help drive sales by creating storylines, videos, artwork and other entertaining content to keep consumers coming back for more. Like smaller local celebrities, artists need not have hit it big in order to help a company sell products. They just need to create engaging content.
“Artists are the key,” said Marie. “They’re the product promoting the product.”
Interesting don’t you think? Remember a while ago I spoke about the book “The Long Tail”. In there Chris Anderson explains this phenomenon in detail. In short, in the online selling space you need to find your niche. Then find someone in that niche who is the chief celebrity in your niche, and get him/her to blog about your product. Think of a celebrity chef if you are selling kitchenware, or the local winner of the “Garden of the Year” competition if you sell garden equipment. It’s not that difficult. It just takes some careful planning and some engagement.
Enjoy the shopping!

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