Thursday, January 20, 2005

Home Shopping Network Goes Interactive

From St Petersburg Times. HSN to introduce shopping by remote.
Subscribers to premium cable TV can push a button and order a movie. So when will they be able to click their remote and buy some gemstones on Home Shopping Network?

The ultimate in impulse shopping would be quite simple.

"If you see something you want on HSN, just click your remote," McInerney said.

Customers would have to register in advance with their credit or debit card numbers, mailing address and other shipping particulars. The cable company would provide a specially programmed set-top box that would carry safeguards to prevent misuse. The financial and operational details are being worked out. (HSN pays for its presence on cable and satellite TV.)

The promise of interactive TV - where the customer can talk back electronically to the TV - was supposed to be "the next big thing" back in the early 1990s. Many cable executives used the vision of a TV viewer watching sitcoms and clicking "buy it" on any piece of apparel the star was wearing or any piece of decor on the set as part of their pitch to raise billions to upgrade the nation's cable infrastructure.

While some customers only buy from the Web site, the network has found that most HSN customers shop through the TV programs and the Web site. Some buy while watching TV, but use the Web site for product research or to buy products not sold on TV. Some watch HSN with a computer on their lap tuned to Others stick only to, which broadcasts HSN live in streaming video.

How about this, have users register thru their phone. The database can be used for promotion ideas on other items.

"HSN Buy Parties". Im sure women can think of ways to gather to watch HSN and now each could bring their phone and buy separately while watching HSN.

I think its just a matter of time where companies use the 1-click buy method (made famous by Amazon) to incorporate interactive buying through TV. You wont need a special cable box, just register with the company or credit card, and send a text to buy through the TV ad.

Heres how I think the service providers will expand into the credit biz. Register your cell phone w/ your credit card and now the impulse buying will even be greater. Either text to buy or scan a bar code to buy, or wave your phone over an interactive tag (RFID).

The easier you make it for people to purchase, and this would sure be easy, the more sales you can generate with a creative advertising campaign.

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