October 13, 2011, 12:51 PM

ShopNBC.com turns smartphones into portable TVs

The retailer now enables viewers to watch live programs via its mobile site.

Lead Photo

The retailer prominently places a link to live video on the home page of its m-commerce site.

TV and online retailer ShopNBC.com has taken its mobile commerce site to the next level by incorporating live television broadcast video streaming technology. Now site shoppers on iPhone and Android devices can watch the cable TV shopping channel on their smartphones.

“Our customers are loyal and engaged with ShopNBC. They have an active lifestyle and are always on the go,” says Carol Steinberg, executive vice president of Internet, marketing and human resources. “To best meet their needs, ShopNBC introduced live streaming of our programming to create an easy platform for them to interact and engage wherever and however they choose. This enhanced mobile experience provides them with an experience that is consistent with our user-friendly ShopNBC.com platform.”

An increasing number of retailers are building video into their mobile programs. Merchants using 2-D bar codes, for examples, often link shoppers who scan the codes with their smartphones to videos on m-commerce sites.

M-commerce technology provider Usablenet Inc. worked with ShopNBC.com to create the live TV functionality. It used web programming language HTML5 to bring live video to the mobile site. HTML5 passes information about the device to the video streaming platform to ensure video is properly encoded for rendering on a smartphone.

ShopNBC.com, No. 64 in the Internet Retailer Mobile Commerce Top 300, reveals to Internet Retailer that it soon will launch its first app for Apple Inc.’s hugely popular iPad tablet PC.

“This app will be targeted to one of ShopNBC’s key merchandise categories,” Steinberg says, “and will provide a compelling and engaging way to interact with our products and brand.”

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