Monday, November 26, 2007

ShopNBC Scores With V-Commerce

If it’s Cyber Monday, I must write about online shopping, right? And that from a smug person who has most of her Christmas shopping done—a large portion of it online.

My enthusiasm for video as part of the communications mix is well known. It’s not just a shopper perspective, although I use and value online video. It’s data driven. A recent study by SellPoint and Coremetrics and reported by Marketing Charts showed video product tour increasing online conversion by 35%. Among the findings of the study were:

•Shoppers who viewed videos spent an average of 2.5 minutes viewing detailed product information. That’s considerably more than the average time spent on most of the top sites according to the October 2007 Nielsen//NetRatings release.
•Last year shoppers spent more time on Thanksgiving Day viewing video product tours (208,509 minutes) than they did on Cyber Monday itself (181,726 minutes).
•They estimate that time spent will go up this year to 380,000 minutes on Thanksgiving and 182,000 minutes on Cyber Monday.
There are a lot of people pushing back from their Thanksgiving dinner table and rushing straight for the computer to start shopping! All online marketers should take note.
One firm that’s doing a lot of things well is ShopNBC, one of the big 3 television shopping channels. They use various communication channels well, including email and direct mail. Their website is a best practices leader. They call it a v-commerce channel.

After their most recent site update shoppers can:

•Watch previously-aired tv shows indexed by product category, brand or host. (All three channels have offered live streaming of their current programming for several years.)
•Search videos by product, brand or host.

•Customize the upcoming week’s program schedule by product, brand or host (full disclosure: that feature isn’t working this morning)
•Watch webcasts, which appear to be selected previously-aired programming.
•Share video by email, although that doesn’t seem to be available for all of the 4,000 or so video clips on the site.

After two month’s experience with the upgrade ShopNBC describes the results:(Press releases documenting the upgrades can be seen at > Investor Relations > Press Releases.)
•Average viewing time for the enhanced live web video stream at is five times higher than its previous version.
•Conversion for products is significantly higher when web video is a part of the customer experience.
•Strong web video usage has been seen in the most important online product categories.
•Top customers use web video more than anyone else.

They have already announced several upgrades since the v-commerce site was launched in May. Given the strong results, it seems likely there will be more. It’s a site worth watching.
But right now, I have to go shopping!
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