TVOT NYC's T-Commerce Experts
I moderated TVOT's session on t-commerce where these experts shared their latest t-commerce deployments: Mark Garner, A+E Networks; Rachelle Zoffer, Verizon FIOS TV; Anthony Landamia, SeaChange; and Michael Fitzsimmons, Delivery Agent. Be sure to check out the presentation at the end of the blog which shows all of the campaigns we discussed during the session.
Four Key T-Commerce Learnings
With such a great roster, the session not only packed in the people but also the t-commerce learnings. Here are four that should be at the top of your list:
- Take the Long View: A+E Network’s Mark Garner noted that developing t-commerce applications requires patience. If you’re looking for a quick hit, look elsewhere. The History Channel shopping widget – developed by A+E Networks, Verizon FIOS TV and Delivery Agent – shows the rewards of taking the long view with its innovative combination of single screen accessibility and dual-screen-like robustness. Ironically, I’m betting that this app (specifically, the template behind it) will help others take the shorter view.
- Sweat the Backend Deals to Deliver the Customer Deals: Anthony Landamia underscored the intense deal negotiations required to structure SeaChange’s Watch & Buy single-screen app, where customers can purchase a DVD and watch the same movie instantly for free. Tough negotiating is critical to creating offers attractive to customers. With many hands in the t-commerce till, this will continue to be a challenge, particularly for margin-challenged media product.
- Place Your Bets: New technology is allowing t-commerce companies to experiment with new ways of connecting content with product with customers. Mike Fitzsimmons demonstrated this with a rapid-fire walk through of Delivery Agent’s deployed campaigns, including a Shazam tag app for The Biggest Loser, commerce integrated into Facebook, shoppable Rovi EPG, and companion sync app for Sons of Anarchy. Clearly, Delivery Agent is placing bets around the table. The potential pay-off? First-hand knowledge and experience as to which t-commerce strategies work and which don’t. If you don’t have the resources to develop simultaneous t-commerce campaigns, then play the odds by prioritizing the most promising and tackle them sequentially (see #1).
- Choose Your Partners Wisely: This advice from Verizon’s Rachelle Zoffer pretty much covers life itself. But when it comes to app development, I’d listen to the folks from FIOS as they’ve worked with a wide array of developers populating their widget marketplace. In addition to the History widget, Zoffer spotlighted FIOS’s successful provisioning campaigns that enable customers to purchase premium content and sports services directly from their TVs along with a concierge service that connects viewers to local products and services (think flowers, food and movie tickets). So what attributes should you look for in a t-commerce partner? Zoffer puts experience first on the list and ability to work well with others a close second.
To this last point, I don’t think it’s an accident that it took three experienced iTV / t-commerce companies working together to deliver this season’s most innovative t-commerce application. What about you?
Will Keller, President, Interactive TV Commerce, is the go-to expert for t-commerce sales strategy and execution. For more iTV insights, subscribe to Inside the Screen or follow him @iTVcommerce.