Private investment firm Comvest Partners acquires the financially troubled e-retailer, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.
An MMCF speaker says innovative iPad design is about unique experiences.
Bringing the “wow” factor to iPad and other tablet computers isn’t about just adding the latest design bells and whistles. Retailers that want to improve their iPad experiences need to think about how to make them unique for each customer, says Ed Deutscher, operating vice president of emerging platforms for web and TV retailer HSN Inc.
Deutscher will speak Oct. 9 from 2:15 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Internet Retailer’s 2012 Mobile Marketing & Commerce Forum at the Manchester Hyatt Hotel in San Diego at a session entitled “The Wow Factor: Fun things marketers have done with an iPad." He says iPad design at TV and web retailer HSN takes several forms.
HSN, No. 26 in the 2012 Internet Retailer Top 500 was an early adopter of apps, tablet design and designing for mobile commerce in general. In October, HSN debuted QR codes onscreen on its HD channel as part of its Innovation Weekend event. A viewer with a smartphone could download any one of numerous free QR code reader apps from an app store. She then opens the app and points the smartphone camera at the QR code on the screen. The app automatically links her to the m-commerce site page for the featured product. There she can read more about the product and purchase it.
In November, HSN also worked with PlayFirst Inc., a mobile social game publisher, to update its Cooking Dash app that features HSN host and chef Emeril Lagasse cooking and serving some of his favorite dishes. The updated app showcases an Emeril Lagasse avatar and allows players to interact with virtual representations from Emeril's Emerilware cookware and small kitchen appliances line. Players could also purchase Emerilware products directly from HSN.com without leaving the app.
HSN also has tested an iPad feature that let viewers interact via live chat with customer service reps during a live broadcast. “This is another example of what we are doing to extend the customer user experience,” Deutscher says.
At his forum session, Deutscher will take attendees through several examples of how HSN has worked to make its iPad design templates and features unique and interesting. He will also speak to attendees on the importance of knowing the ins and outs of the iPad operating system and those of other tablets. “You can add the ‘wow’ factor once you learn how to leverage the device,” Deutscher says.
Deutscher also will talk to MMCF session attendees about the importance of knowing how customers use their iPads or other tablets to shop and access content. “Knowing what your platform can do and how customers use their device is the key to making their experience unique and getting them to say ‘wow,’” Deutscher says.
Internet Retailer editors asked Deutscher to speak because of his experience and expertise in mobile commerce design, especially with the iPad. At HSN Deutscher has helped to conceive and launch the company’s mobile offerings. Before joining HSN in 2004, Deutscher served as a technology consulting manager at Accenture, where he was responsible for managing and delivering web-based services for utility companies.