While the notion of shopping by TV without the aid of a phone, a mouse or an Internet connection might seem futuristic to some, it’s the here-and-now for retailer HSN-and it’s turning out to be a success.
HSN recently launched a new version of technology service dubbed Shop By Remote, which it launched in December 2005. The first version enables consumers with HSN accounts with default billing and shipping information (set up via phone or web) who subscribe to select cable or satellite television companies to use their cable remote control to select and purchase the item currently on the air on HSN TV, one of the previous two items or the day’s special. To complete a purchase, a consumer enters her phone number and ZIP code, which are matched to her unique cable or satellite set-top box. Today this version of Shop By Remote reaches 17 million households.
HSN later introduced a second version of Shop By Remote for on-demand cable TV, where consumers (again, ones with HSN accounts and select TV providers) can shop specially recorded programs with a far greater array of products. This version reaches 2 million households.
Late last year HSN launched the third version of Shop By Remote, marrying the two styles-using technology from ActiveVideo Networks-so consumers now can shop for whatever is on the air or select displayed options to shop other categories, flowing between the live and on-demand programming. All three versions of Shop By Remote initially travel over the cable or satellite provider’s infrastructure but then are passed through a secure Internet connection to HSN back-end systems. Customers need not have Internet access to shop.
At almost the half-year mark with version three, HSN is pleased with the results, although not providing details.
“Sales have been significant-they’ve exceeded our initial expectations,” says Sean Bunner, operating vice president of advanced services at HSN. “And what’s interesting: We’ve had quite a few new customers who select a product and then are prompted to call our 800 number to set up an account. After the representative sets up the account, these new customers are telling them they want to complete the purchase back on the TV. This is the future of shopping.”
HSN is No. 25 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide