Consumers need joy - now more than ever - and what could spark joy more than shopping? In SEA specifically, 1 in 3 wants to make a purchase and feel good about it, according to a Toluna survey commissioned by TikTok in March 2021. With lockdown, consumers are turning to commerce to make purchases and to be entertained. According to a GWI study, one-third of consumers say it’s important for them to be entertained during the purchasing process.
However, as e-commerce offerings expand across almost every digital platform, the space has become more competitive with lower conversion rates for brands. There are also few solutions that can connect consumers’ desires to the joy of shopping.
This is where Shoppertainment, where brands leverage creative content to stand out from digital advertising and truly engage with consumers to drive purchase, comes in.
What is Shoppertainment and what does it mean for APAC marketers?
At the core of Shoppertainment is the idea of brands entertaining consumers while promoting their products on digital platforms. On TikTok, for example, Shoppertainment is driven by the convergence of entertaining content and commerce that creates joyful shopping experiences for consumers.
In recent times, Shoppertainment is further powered by the rise of short-form videos and social tools, as well as a leaned-in digital audience.
Shoppertainment is also making it easier for brands to interact with consumers to co-create joyful conversations and interactions. This allows marketers to deepen engagement with their customers every step of the way, and hopefully, drive them from the discovery to purchasing stage.
This was something discussed at a TikTok Mega Sales Season panel featuring marketing leaders from Shiseido, Shopee and P&G, moderated by Weng Wai Koh, head of brand partnerships, TikTok.
“Shoppertainment is now a basic expectation. You really have to leverage engaging tools so the shopper gets to learn about the product, its superiority, and has fun along the way,” notes Alex Vogler, senior director and head of marketing, e-business, Procter & Gamble (P&G) Asia, Middle East and Africa.
And indeed, content that combines entertainment and commerce continues to grow in popularity and engagement on the platform.
According to Juliana Chu, VP, digital and ecommerce, APAC, Shiseido, “Live-streaming on e-commerce platforms...is generating positive outcomes.”
Vogler gives the Shoppertainment example of #ChallengetheChores, a recent TikTok campaign that P&G did in collaboration with Shopee.
“During COVID-19, we noticed chores in the household were disproportionately falling on women, so we created a campaign around that.”
The campaign adopted a fun and informative tone, leveraging videos, live-streaming and gamification to drive awareness of the unequal allocation of housework, as well as the superiority of P&G’s products.
“It was a campaign that was both a force for growth and good. These types of campaigns helped differentiate [ourselves] from others,” emphasises Vogler.
Why can Shoppertainment accelerate shopping discovery during Mega Sales?
Once yearly or quarterly events, Mega Sales are now becoming monthly events.
As Shopee’s head of brand and growth marketing Peggy Zhu says, “We used to only have 9.9, 11.11 and 12.12. Now, we also have 4.4, 6.6, 7.7.”
While this means brands get to actively engage with their digital audience on a regular basis, it also means the digital landscape is as competitive as ever.
On TikTok, marketers leverage Shoppertainment to inspire people to create product experiences with brands, not to sell ‘at’ users.
A campaign might start with interactive content such as a hashtag challenge or branded effect, which encourages participation from users. As the challenge goes viral, the brands will have exponential opportunities to engage directly with their audience.
As Vogler says, “We now look at the entire path-to-purchase. We call it winning hearts, minds and wallets.”
P&G’s Rejoice campaign is an example of this.
The campaign kicked off with a TikTok dance challenge to win consumers’ hearts and minds.
“There was a [great creative filter], a great danceable song. Within six days, it had 3 billion views, so we can already see the impact here in winning minds. We'll [then] have to coordinate across [to win the wallets]”
The campaign is testament to how brands can use short-form videos and interactive social tools to build a leaned-in digital audience.
How has Shoppertainment taken flight in communities?
Beyond entertainment, it’s important to note that consumers are yearning to build connections in their shopping experiences. They are seeking out like-minded people - not only to deal with day-to-day challenges of lockdown, but also to cultivate a sense of community.
Community commerce sits at the intersection of addressing these human needs.
With TikTok’s unique algorithm, creators and users can turn entertaining brand stories into shared experiences on the platform, accelerating discovery to purchase.
In some instances, the mix of Shoppertainment and community has led to regional and global shopping trends, taking the form of viral hashtags such as #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, which has clocked a staggering 4.5 billion views to date.
Well-positioned content can go a long way on TikTok. Farmhouse’s dark chocolate milk products flew off the shelf after it went viral on the social platform this summer.
“If the trend is that consumers are moving to social community platforms during both the product discovery stage, and also the consideration stage...then naturally they will want to stay on this social community platform to move to the purchase stage,” notes Chu. “Brands should tap into this opportunity, by engaging [...] influencers that can make good TikTok videos, or do effective live streaming for commerce.”
Meanwhile, Zhu believes community commerce is a good complement to e-commerce platforms.
“Brands could build their customer engagement using different channels, leveraging the creativity of TikTok creators to generate awareness and interest, and leveraging e-commerce platforms to drive further consideration, eventually leading to the final - and conversion - stage of the shopper’s journey.”
As shoppers seek uplifting content more than ever, brands would do well to leverage Shoppertainment on TikTok during the Mega Sales season. Brands knowing how to achieve that perfect mix of commerce and entertainment could not only achieve short-term sales, but long-term brand values, and perhaps even drive global shopping trends.
For more Mega Sales insights, watch the panel with P&G, Shiseido and Shopee now.
Learn about how TikTok can help you plan your Mega Sales Season campaigns.