November 30, 2011, 9:28 AM

E-commerce carnival encourages online shopping with Arcade games.

Thad Rueter

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

Call it carnival wisdom: Consumers spend more when they are having fun. TV and web retailer HSN Inc. is applying that principle with its Arcade section of, where shoppers can play some 25 games as they view product pitches and a live feed from HSN’s TV channel. The games, which change regularly, tend to focus on such simple endeavors as solitaire, blackjack, video poker and slots. One recent game, though, was a fashion matching contest—this handbag goes there—in which Queen Latifah, promoting an apparel line, competed. Not all games feature direct product ties, but the effort has attracted 14.5 million plays and increased the time consumers spend on the site, says Jill Braff, executive vice president of digital commerce. “Consumers can shop, watch and play all from one screen,” she says.


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