What Is The Future Of Shopping And Entertainment?

What is the future of shopping and entertainment? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. 

Answer by Connie Chan, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, on Quora

The future of shopping is shopatainment, which is the combination of entertainment, commerce and content. In the future, I think we’ll be binge watching shops, not just shows and the reason boils down to the fact that video is inherently entertaining and it’s also a fantastic way to sell things. We’ve known this for decades, it’s why commercials, infomercials, and HSN & QVC work so well. Video allows for storytelling — you can demonstrate how to use a product, show off the before and after comparison, and interview real customers to create even more social proof. Imagine watching a fashion show and being able to purchase directly from the runway — or more accurately imagine an influencer showing off a shopping haul and being able to purchase those same items so that the influencer earns a commission. In this example, the commentary on the clothing is the entertainment, the one-click purchase is the commerce, and the influencer’s creation is the content.

The opportunity here extends much further than individual seller as well. I believe it will develop into a full-fledged ecosystem including:

  • Existing ecommerce stores will tack on video as an add-on feature
  • New vertical-specific shopatainment platforms
  • New horizontal shopatainment platforms
  • Existing non-commerce platforms that add shopatainment features

As I recently wrote about: “While early examples of shopatainment in the West have been created in people’s homes or in low-cost set-ups, shows are destined to become high-fidelity productions. And though there are U.S. startups vying for this space—not to mention the many existing ecommerce brands that are rightfully eyeing live shopping as an add-on feature—this is not a winner-take-all phenomenon. Ultimately, I believe that every successful future online retailer will one day rely on video over traditional photo-based listings. Shopatainment is part art, part game show, part theater, part supply chain management, and part auction house. Most of all, it’s retail’s killer app.”

This question originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

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