In today’s omnichannel world, where consumers see a retailer only as a single brand, merchants must create fluid experiences between digital and physical touch points by maintaining consistent messaging, visuals, prices and merchandise across channels.
HSN is one retailer transitioning to “boundary-less retail” with the launch of a new e-Commerce site, which seamlessly integrates social sharing, mobile–optimized content, product curation and overall, more compelling brand experiences, according to Jill Braff, EVP of Digital Commerce at HSN.
“We offer our customers a consistent, seamless encounter across all screens, customized by how and where they want to engage with us,” Braff said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We understand how customers want to shop, and will continue to build the kind of experience they crave: a truly personalized shopping journey that is social and in their hands to control.”
The improved HSN e-Commerce and mobile sites, and the new social features, all are part of a multi-platform digital redesign that has been in progress for more than a year, according to Braff. “Our customers are tech-savvier than ever, love to participate in social media and enjoy being part of a community,” she said, “and want much more out of the cross-channel shopping experience.”
Putting Mobile And Social At The Center Of Brand Strategy
The HSN digital strategy puts mobile shopping “at the heart” of the improved browsing and buying journey, Braff reported. HSN.com is optimized on all smartphones and tablet operating systems — iOS, Android and Windows 8. With the mobile sites, consumers have access to all HSN products and content at any time, empowering them to research products at home via tablets, or through their smartphones while on the go.
“Navigational capabilities on our mobile apps and mobile-enhanced sites are more intuitive, letting our shoppers find the information they’re seeking more quickly,” Braff stated. “While we have created a new design across all of our digital channels, we also have focused on optimizing shopping for every tablet and smartphone device to create an easy-to-use yet exciting environment for our mobile customers.”
Social sharing and shopping also play pivotal roles in the new HSN digital strategy. “We’re making social shopping central to the customer journey,” Braff explained, “by integrating social communities directly into the online and mobile experience.”
HSN partnered with Mass Relevance, a social curation solution provider, to collect and share consumer insights that are released across social networks in real time. Customer feedback — such as reviews, questions and favorite product finds — is cross-published from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram directly on to the HSN e-Commerce site.
HSN and Mass Relevance also collaborated to develop “The 20,” a list that features 20 products compiled based on fan votes submitted via social media. Enhancements such as “The 20” will encourage consumers to interact more with the HSN brand, according to Braff. They also will “bring another level of excitement that we believe will resonate strongly with our shoppers who are looking for more than just a transactional experience.”
Simplifying The Online Shopping Experience
A variety of other new facets, such as easier account sign-in, a “shop by category” option and a more user-friendly interface, all were included in the new e-Commerce and mobile sites to make shopping more consistent and efficient across channels.
“When HSN customers sign in through any of our channels, they can access their accounts, as well as share shopping carts and favorites across all digital platforms,” Braff explained. “This seamless experience supports our focus on boundary-less retail.”
HSN also is focused on improving content caching to make it easier for shoppers to access their favorite brands, personalities and information on upcoming events, according to Braff. The e-Commerce site now loads twice as fast for visitors across devices, she explained, and is more reliable than the previous web site.