Case studies

July 14, 2019

The Home Shopping Network and TVPage

Social Commerce for Today’s Consumer.

Background

The Home Shopping Network (HSN), part of the QVC Group, is a notable pioneer of Video Commerce.

Founded in 1977, well before the Internet was invented, HSN truly understood the concept of shopping as entertainment.

HSN brought shopping to Television, driven by a strong understanding of three major ideas:

  1. Video has the power to engage a broad audience.
  2. Video is a form of entertainment.
  3. Shopping is a form of entertainment.

Simply put, HSN turned on the ability to “shop from video”. People could suddenly engage with video in the comfort of their own homes, and at the same time discover products they are interested in, revolutionary at the time.

The Home Shopping Network on CATV

In fact, HSN took this further by leveraging engaging hosts that are charismatic, appealing, and entertaining. These hosts generated a real following and formed a big part of what made HSN appealing to millions of people who regularly tune-in to watch and shop from the hosts they love. Many would say that the concept of an “Influencer” on social media today is simply another form of the “Host” or “Celebrity” on Television.

The Challenge

With the turn of the century, ecommerce started growing and HSN naturally expanded the processing of orders on the phone to the Internet. Today, as one would expect, most orders are placed on HSN.com, and no longer on the phone.

In addition, video has grown to become increasingly consumed on the Internet and consumption on traditional Television or “CATV” is no longer as prevalent. HSN shoppers were therefore starting to spend more of their day online.

HSN realized that these changes in both technology and consumer behavior presented a real opportunity for their online presence to become much more than an order processing catalog.

What if HSN viewers could not only buy, but also watch, all on HSN.com?

HSN searched for a partner to leverage video online and tested various online video players and streaming technologies, but they consistently struggled with one major issue. They wanted to enable their consumers to watch and buy from their experience, which was always the essence of what made HSN so unique from day one. They also needed the content to be discoverable on Google search by matching product search terms.

These extensive requirements ultimately led HSN to TVPage.

The Solution

TVPage is not just another online video platform. In addition to a state-of-the-art Video Player and broadcast-grade Video Delivery, the TVPage Social Commerce Platform encompasses a Matching Engine that is able to match products to videos throughout the catalog. This means that HSN would suddenly be able to query an API that would return the right product for any given video to purchase right there, while the consumer is watching!

HSN were now able to finally bring Video and Commerce together in the most complete way. Not only would consumers no longer need to go to HSN.com after watching the video, they could watch on HSN.com and buy directly from the content.

HSN analyzed the TVPage platform, and realized how important the Matching Engine was to achieving their goals. They also recognized that they needed the TVPage Recommendation Engine in order to deliver the right videos for each and every Host and Category so consumers can easily browse and search all HSN content on HSN.com!

HSN termed the new shoppable video experience “HSN Now”. HSN Now has grown to become a true Over-the-Top experience on HSN.com, generating significant traffic, sales and extended engagement on HSN.com.

Wolfgang Puck on a TV Page on HSN Now
Selling Wolfgang Pluck Brand Products

HSN realized that dedicated “TV Pages” would have to be at the heart of the HSN Now experience, a standalone shoppable video page for each and every video, in order to ensure that the content is discoverable on Google search. Google has made it very clear that you must have a “standalone dedicated video page for each and every video” in order to come up on Google as Video Search Results. In fact, Google further notes that each such page must contain “all of its related information”.

Google SEO Guidance
“Create a standalone landing page for every video”

The unique intelligence generated on the TVPage platform ensures that that all related product metadata from the products that are matched to any given video are properly indexed by Google, directly on the video’s respective TV Page.

This means that when products are searched on Google, relevant videos can come up as video search results. Without shoppable TV Pages and both the Matching Engine and Recommendation Engine, it would only be possible to search videos by Video Title or Description, which rarely contains the actual product keywords and phrases people are searching for.

HSN Video Search Results on Google
The first 2 Videos go to HSNTV on HSN.com
(because the videos are on TV pages on HSN.com)
The 3rd video goes to Youtube
(because the video is also on Youtube)

Every merchant online would prefer the video search traffic to go directly to their online store TV pages, where the video is shoppable and conversion rates are in well excess of 5%, versus Youtube, where the video is not shoppable, competitor content/ads appears and conversion rates are 0.5%, at best. Without TV pages, all of your videos simply live on Youtube from which you gain minimal to no commerce value.

The HSN Now experience continues to grow with new content daily. Each video is now discoverable on Google search and directly on HSN Now where HSN shoppers quickly add to cart, convert at high rates, and engage for an extended period of time.

About TVPage

TVPage enables shoppable content and salespeople beyond the limitations of physical stores by activating storefronts on ecommerce sites, where they post shoppable content. Salespeople drive traffic to their storefronts from their social audiences, generating new engagement and sales. Shoppable videos become discoverable on Google search. TVPage serves the entire experience, and directly reports on all sales. Salespeople earn a commission from their sales, paid directly on the app.