eCommerce Growth is Slowing, But Increasing Its Entertainment Value Should Provide a Boost


Ever since the birth of the internet, the eCommerce market has been slowly chipping away at the market share of brick-and-mortar stores. Between 2015 to 2019, the eCommerce market can be seen growing rapidly with a CAGR of 18%. In 2020, the pandemic accelerated digital transformation and changed the way consumers embrace digital and eCommerce solutions, resulting in a 24% growth. Moving forward, as economies adjust to the new norm, the CAGR is forecasted to drop to 10%.


Source: eMarketer

Besides changing consumer spending behaviour, the pandemic has also transformed video streaming habits. According to the Global Web Index 2020, over 80% of consumers in the US and UK say they have been consuming more content ever since the outbreak. The lockdowns have led to unprecedented levels of media consumption as people try to keep themselves entertained indoors. By 2021, the average person is estimated to spend 100 minutes every day watching online videos, a 19% increase from 2019.


As consumers begin to shop more online and videos are becoming their main source of entertainment, eCommerce platforms have been incorporating short and long-form videos on their websites and even expanding into social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram. Videos have overtaken emails, blogging, and infographics as the most used type of marketing content, with 60% of businesses using video as a marketing tool and 32% of businesses using video for sales.


However, with streaming services being the gold standard for video, the quality of the videos that consumers are getting used to is very high and targeted, posing a challenge to eCommerce players to grab consumers’ finite attention.


So, what can eCommerce players do to capture consumers’ finite attention?

eCommerce players should adopt an entertainment-centric approach to capture consumers’ finite attention and improve monetization.


How?


1) Videos of high-quality original content need to be deployed


High-quality original content will allow platforms to distinguish themselves from others, especially when consumers are experiencing content overload. It should be comparable to the content offered on streaming services, thus providing consumers with quality entertainment. Notable efforts include Amazon’s first daily live show, called Style Code Live which features fashion and beauty tips from style experts and viewers. The show is also similar to existing “Reality & Talk” shows on Netflix. With this initiative, Amazon is able to produce high-quality original content while selling its products, enabling them to stand out from other eCommerce platforms.


2) eCommerce players need to provide a frictionless entertainment-commerce interface for viewers to purchase items whilst viewing


As videos become the go-to entertainment for consumers, eCommerce platforms that successfully create the most seamless entertainment-commerce experience will be able to stay ahead of the competition. NTWRK is a mobile-first video shopping platform that blends entertainment and commerce, giving its global audience unprecedented access to exclusive products from world-renowned artists, brands, and personalities. Their programming varies from dating shows to shows about sneakers and even pop culture, offering viewers pure entertainment. NTWRK then takes it up a notch by introducing a shopping element in all of its programs, making it effortless for consumers to shop and be entertained at the same time. This provides eCommerce platforms with an advantage, thereby attracting more consumers and improving monetization.


eCommerce platforms must recognise that consumers’ behaviour changes are non-linear and that their stickiness will depend on whether or not platforms can adapt to these changes.