Home shopping TV channels also broaden reach

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As DRTV marketers move well beyond their own traditional medium, companies that were built as shop-from-home cable TV networks are doing the same, broadening the appeal beyond TV. HSN (formerly the Home Shopping Network), QVC and ShopNBC have all enhanced sales capabilities online and through mobile devices. 

HSN last month launched the "More to Like" campaign to promote its specialty online store of the same name. Customers were given the opportunity to enter a sweepstakes through either HSN's website or its Facebook page, two of its newer shopping portals.

In recent earnings reports, HSN said mobile commerce was its fastest-growing sector. 

"For us, it really comes down to producing the relevant content that the consumer will see across all platforms," says Kurt Kostur, SVP of brand and partnership marketing at HSN. "A goal is continued growth through serving the customer, knowing her needs and speaking to her across all platforms." (Eighty-five percent of HSN's customer base is female).

HSN reported an 11% increase in sales in the second quarter, while QVC saw nearly 13% growth in Web sales in the same period. Both companies have mobile sites and applications, as does rival ShopNBC. 

"I think the whole sector is defining itself as multichannel electronic retail. There is not just the TV channel anymore. Internet sales, for instance, are nearly 50% of our total business, and we have a platform for TV, online, mobile and social media," says Anthony Giombetti, VP of marketing and communications at ShopNBC. "We're trying to put forward a 'shop anywhere, anytime' experience. It's a really integrated approach to interacting with the consumer, and the experience you see on the TV channel is mirrored online and through mobile and social. It is really about the sense of instant gratification that you are tapping into." 

Giombetti adds that shop-from-home networks have an advantage over other Internet retailers - including the online portals of brick-and-mortar stores - because of their expertise in producing TV content. 

"We have found that the customer who interacts with the TV and the Internet platform is worth three times the spend than if you just interacted with them through one medium," he says. "A reason we have an advantage is the video aspect of it, which is a core competency of ours, plus our ability to react to things so quickly."

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