5 T-Commerce Growth Strategies for Interactive Television
T-Commerce is Bigger Than You Think
According to the DMA (Direct Marketing Association), TV direct response sales (e.g., infomercials etc.) totaled $1.5 trillion in the past four years:
2008 - $392 billion
2009 - $356 billion
2010 - $383 billion
2011 - $430 billion
5 T-Commerce iTV Strategies Poised to Grow
So given this pot of tv-driven sales, where should you look for more interactive television commerce revenue? Here are five t-commerce sales strategies to follow:
- Purchase with Remote: HSN, a tech leader in the iTV space has driven incremental revenue with it's not-too-many remote clicks single screen application. Shop By Remote has been embraced by both current and new customers and demonstrates the power of "remote" shopping for the DR world at large. Technical hurdles remain but they are being overcome (yes, I mean EBIF).
- Local MSO iTV Apps: MSOs are gaining traction with local iTV engagements (e.g., Comcast Spotlight and Cablevision Optimum Select). But they need to solve the t-wallet dilemma which currently requires customers to separately register payments adding a needlessly complicated consumer barrier. It's time to call PayPal.
- Upselling Premium Content: You might not think of this as t-commerce but Showtime certainly does. They've registered solid success with their single-screen Showtime app where instead of seeing a boring blue screen, viewers can preview premium content and purchase immediate access.
- Shopping Widgets with Primary Screen CTAs: You may be familiar with History Channel's Shopping Widget (read my blog or catch the video of the panel I moderated at TVOT NYC). As History Channel's Elizabeth Braiman reported at the Cable Interacts conference, they've seen "Through the roof engagement levels...7x more effective than clicking through from the web...average of 5 minutes per visit on widget." The main screen CTA bug is key here.
- Synced Tablet Apps: The shipping forecasts for tablets this year -- 40 million iPads in the US alone -- should be bait enough to start leveraging these oh-so-easy-to-shop-on devices. Look for iTV apps that sync with programs to start doing just that more fluidly than currently executed. That means providing incentives for viewers to click through to shopping friendly e-commerce sites.
While the above may not add a billion to total TV DR revenue any time soon, keep in mind the value of acquiring new customers via non-traditional iTV shopping strategies. It's not the profit on the first transaction that you should value most highly, it's the now-engaged consumer's lifetime value.
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.