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Digital: Shoppertainment strategy bolsters brand engagement in the post-pandemic world

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – When a crisis rears its ugly head, the marketing spend is the first to be slashed.

But Covid-19 hasn’t been just any ordinary financial crisis. Unlike a ‘usual’ recession, consumers’ level of consumption has been accelerated, and they have become more engaged with brands this time around. While industries such as travel and brick and mortar retail have cut budgets, most brands have learned to pivot their marketing initiatives to suit the changing times, with varying degrees of strategy and success.


One of the marketing strategies that had slowly gained traction pre-pandemic and ultimately gained momentum when global lockdowns occurred is “Shoppertainment,” the innovative approach of combining entertainment and e-commerce elements into one show or production. Born in China, Shoppertainment is done to bolster customer engagement and other interactive features, such as live streaming. These digital innovations have become effective in creating an immersive and personalized shopping experience for consumers.

Former O-shopping host and television actress Hiyasmin Neri-Soyao has brought this trend to the Philippines. Together with her husband, Patt Soyao and other e-commerce entrepreneurs, they founded Shoppertainment Live Inc, a tech-enabled livestream shopping network for e-commerce and social media that helps brands generate measurable results.

According to Hiyasmin Neri-Soyao, “Shoppertainment Live acts like a virtual shopping network where customers can shop and be entertained at the same time.” Shoppertainment Live Inc. was launched in 2019, the same year when Lazada and Shopee livestreams started on the platforms.


Their team creates entertaining live shopping streams for brands that will help people shop smart, so they just add-to-cart. They deliver the whole marketing experience from awareness, engagement to sales for every livestream session bringing their influensales™ mindset. They described Influensales™ as all about having an influencer’s ability to engage, inform and entertain, and the salesman mindset to sell products and understand every product’s unique features and benefits.

She explained that Shoppertainment Live is recalibrating Homeshopping 2.0 for brands and their consumers. “It’s essentially a “broadcast network” that works with companies and brands to sell their products through livestreams.”

Building a makeshift studio in her partner’s chat support office, Shoppertainment Live started by doing livestreams on Lazada, signing-up brands who were willing to try out the relatively new e-commerce tool. It didn’t take long before they perfected the concept, and they started attracting more clients.

By 2020, the company put up its own livestream studios and started hiring more people. “We knew we were doing something right when we were reaching an average of 20 streams per month and had to grow the team from six employees to 30 immediately,” Neri says. “We also increased our studio capacity to meet the demands. We started with an average of one to two campaigns per month and increased to 200 percent by the end of 2020.”

Hiring the right talent was an essential strategy for the company. Seasoned professional from the broadcast industry, Lawrence Lee, who has over 15 years experience in TV, currently leads the production team and brought in the foundational practices of broadcasting. Paired up with people from the events industry who know the intricacies of a live event with similarities with a Livestream, Thei Vitug, former Viva events joined in to lead the accounts team. Asked why they joined the company, both saw this as an opportunity to establish a new innovative industry.


Fast forward, Shoppertainment Live has done over 1,000 live streams since its inception and has worked with more than 70 local and multinational brands. The company has also worked with some of the country’s top celebrities and influencers. It has been part of award-winning e-commerce and marketing campaigns for multinational brands in more than a year in the business.

“The need for live streams during the quarantine increased, and we knew that we were already equipped with the right production skills needed by the brands who were pivoting to digital.”

Live stream shopping is proven to be a pandemic-proof response for heavily affected industries like below-the-line advertising and activations sectors.

“BTL and activations-reliant consumer brands didn’t know how to pivot their marketing game when lockdown and social distancing took place. We empowered these brands and companies to shift from their traditional “promodizing” method (usually done inside malls) to doing it via live streaming.”

Shoppertainment Live sees this as an ongoing trend, even if things get back to normal. “They say it takes 30 days to make a habit, it’s been over a year, live streaming is already part of our commercial lifestyle.”

“The pandemic accelerated the livestream consumption behavior and accelerated the growth of our industry. Currently, we are expanding capacity, studio space and workforce. Our mission is to challenge ourselves even more and hit our target of doing 9,000 livestream sessions in 2021.”

Partner with adobo Magazine

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