In an effort to extend its brand to the mobile channel, Home Shopping Network (HSN), a national television-based retailer, has designed an interaction application for the Apple iPad. The application — launched in December 2010 — is designed to highlight the relationship between content, community and commerce.
With a focus on streamlining mobile commerce for its customers, HSN is enabling them to access the brand across developing technology platforms including the Apple iPad. The television-based retailer currently offers it shoppers applications for the iPhone, Android and Windows 7 phones, as well as an optimized mobile web site.
The new application offers an extended brand experience, including live streaming video available from 15 different channels of archived footage. In addition, users also can program their own channels based on their preferences (by product, brand or category).
“We thought about what was unique and what our customers love about our brand — it’s the ability to watch us live at anytime,” said Ed Deutscher, Direct of Technology for HSN.com and Advanced Services, HSN. “So [we’ve enabled our customers to] watch up to 15 channels of live content. Mobile is the ubiquitous consumer connection device, [so we can give our customer] meaningful and timely information on the go.”
Deutscher shared insights into HSN’s video-centric iPad application strategy at the Mobile Commerce Summit held on May 12, 2011 in New York, hosted by Mobile Commerce Daily. The 33-year-old brand, which recently launched HSN2, an additional shopping TV channel, initially went mobile in July 2009 with an iPhone app, and has since launched on Sprint devices, as well as the Android. Utilizing the mobile channel as a means to provide a “boundaryless retail” experience, the HSN iPad app is a dashboard for multichannel commerce, connecting the TV channel and the web.
“These devices are highly personalized — people have them wherever they go,” Deutscher said. “With that in mind, our goal is to be wherever our customer is and provide the content whenever she wants it. We want to make sure we’re there when she needs us, and has timely information and seamless access to brand and content.”
Mobile is the fastest growing channel for HSN, Deutscher said, and the company recently synched up cart data in the mobile app with that of the mobile site, providing a streamlined experience for shoppers who switch channels (browsing and adding to cart online and purchasing on the application).
The Mobile Moment Of Opportunity
HSN also has plans to launch a new version of its iPad application, which will include additional customer-centric features that offer users the ability to customize the shopping experience with content and video relevant to declared preferences. Deutscher said the retailer is gleaning key insights from its current version of the iPad app, including the ability to:
- Conduct competitive analysis to identify mobile leadership features and services;
- Survey customers to understand usage scenarios and key features/functions;
- Launch and test additional mobile-based services; and
- Build a multichannel plan for mobile marketing leveraging existing channels.