By Sangjun Hyun
Home shopping has evolved greatly since the Home Shopping Network (HSN) pioneered the concept in the 1980′s. And these networks’ nimble response to the rise of online and mobile shopping has allowed them to continue to grow and thrive even as the entire retail industry experiences seismic shifts. Today, nearly half of HSN’s sales are reportedly made online. And mobile is rising quickly. HSN recently said its mobile commerce sales grew 78% in Q1 2013 and mobile sales now represent 10 percent of its total company sales.
Home shopping networks are therefore not only rising to the challenge of online and mobile commerce, but accelerating the phenomena.
In Korea, where I sit, this is especially true. Home shopping is extremely popular in Korea and is helping drive Korea to become one of the most advanced online retail markets in the world. The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service predicts online shopping will likely be the dominant retail channel in Korea within the next five years. A company seeking to take full advantage of this boom is NS Shopping, one of Korea’s leading home shopping networks, who is teaming with IBM to provide its customers a better shopping experience.
NS Shopping currently sells its merchandise — primarily food — on television, through catalogues and online. The retailer will now connect mobile and social technologies to these existing channels to more easily reach shoppers where and when they prefer to browse and purchase products.
As part of the project, NS Shopping will design and build a suite of mobile applications, including Mobile Shop, Shopping Catalog for Mobile Shop and Moms Community.
NS Shopping will also gather and analyze massive amounts of customer data from its mobile and web properties to provide shoppers with personalized product recommendations.
Retailers the world over are looking to provide their customers with a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels, but it remains a challenge. One of the primary hurdles is the ability to track and engage clients when they interact with a brand from different locations and devices.
Maintaining a centralized view of client data is the “holy grail” of marketing as it allows retailers to cater to individual habits and preferences. NS Shopping is on track to become one of the few retailers in the world that will be capable of doing just that, all while providing a smarter retail experience to build increased customer loyalty and engagement.