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Brief Published: 18 Jul 2018

Live Shopping Show Gravy Hypes Gen Y with Gamified Discounts


Inspired by old-school TV shopping channels and new-age live mobile game shows such as HQ, Gravy – the world's first live shopping mobile game show – turns buying online into addictive entertainment.

Airing daily at 8.30pm ET for around 15 minutes via its app, US tech start-up Gravy's mobile live shopping show enables consumers to get discounts on products, compete with other users in real time for cash prizes and raise money for charity.

A highly coveted product (such as Oculus Go VR headsets, iPhone Xs or North Face jackets) is presented by a host to a live audience. Viewers can buy the item at any time at a highly discounted price – but the quantity available is unknown. The longer they wait, the cheaper the item becomes or sells out.

This nerve-racking, albeit entertaining strategy taps into price-conscious millennials' appetite for deals – explored in Budget Retail's Quality Drive and Thrifty Millennials Turn to Refund Apps.

Shoppers can also guess when the game will sell out to win cash prizes ($200) – a smart way to engage those who are not interested (at least initially) in buying. Echoing the activist mindset of younger generations (see Retail's Activist Brands), Gravy donates part of the proceeds to charities selected from a list by consumers.

Gravy aims to become the shopping entertainment platform for the youth – an audience that increasingly opts out of platforms interrupted by mobile ads. Currently, thousands of viewers tune in daily (80% are millennials), with the audience growing by about 20% a week (Star Tribune, 2018).