ShopNBC taps mobile site, app, affiliate network to accelerate mcommerce
ShopNBC and drugstore.com are among the merchants that have partnered with LinkShare Corp.’s affiliate network to track mobile commerce transactions.
LinkShare’s goal is to accelerate mobile commerce in the online performance marketing channel, and it claims to be the first affiliate marketing network in the United States to fully embrace mobile commerce by ensuring that its tracking technology works across multiple mobile devices and platforms. ShopNBC said that its partnership with LinkShare is intended to enhance its existing mobile commerce initiatives.
“Along with our mobile commerce-enabled site and iPhone app, [the partnership with LinkShare] is part of our initiative to be wherever our customers are—ShopNBC anywhere,” said Sharla Wagy, director of online programming development at ShopNBC, Eden Prairie, MN. “We have a very loyal customer base that loves to watch our show, but obviously living their lives they can’t always be in front of the TV.
“Our site and app let them can read reviews and place orders in a matter of minutes, even if they’re in the office, in the grocery store or at a softball game,” she said. “Mobile provides a convenience factor.
“We have been pleasantly surprised by the number of new customers—the number of customer acquisitions—that we have been able to achieve through the iPhone app and mobile site.”
ShopNBC is an American broadcast and cable home shopping network that is owned and operated by ValueVision Media, which is in turn 30 percent owned by GE Equity and NBC Universal.
The network’s main competitors are HSN and QVC.
LinkShare Corp. provides ecommerce businesses with a pay-per-action search and lead-generation marketing network, along with consultative services and patented technology.
LinkShare clients include J.C. Penney, 1-800-Flowers.com, American Express and Avon Products.
Publishers tap LinkShare
Recognizing the growing opportunities in the mobile commerce market, LinkShare recently completed testing of its tracking technology on leading smartphone platforms, including Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android, Research In Motion’s BlackBerry and Palm’s WebOS.
By 2015, it is estimated that shoppers worldwide will spend approximately $119 billion on goods and services bought through their mobile phones, according to LinkShare.
Retailers surveyed by analysts at Forrester Research Inc. reported that their mobile browsers are generating 2.8 percent of overall site traffic and two percent of Web revenue on average.
In the same report, Forrester found that “affiliate marketing surfaced as a strong customer acquisition tool.”
Drugstore.com tested LinkShare’s mobile commerce tracking capabilities to ensure that its mobile publishers are receiving credit for sales to consumers who are purchasing health, beauty, skincare and a range of other products directly from their mobile devices.
As mobile device adoption continues to increase, the combination of performance marketing and mobile commerce represents a natural, complementary evolution as advertisers look for additional ways to drive traffic to their mobile sites and as publishers create new sites, applications and business models designed for mobile commerce.
Publishers that have recently joined the LinkShare Network include Navit, a subsidiary of Paxfire, TheFind, Scanbuy, Sccope and Skava.
As for ShopNBC, it sees its partnership with LinkShare as a way to enhance its mobile commerce platforms., which include a mobile Web site and an iPhone application.
ShopNBC’s mobile Web site and application have features such as “Today’s Top Value,” where a different product is highlighted each day with special pricing, and the “On-air Now” section, which is a live feed that can be viewed from the application.
The last 12 items featured on-air are also listed, so consumers can use their handsets to see product specifications, descriptions and prices. They can then actually order that product directly via their Web-enabled handsets if they are current customers and ShopNBC already has their payment info in its database.
“Pretty much all of the functionality that we have on our Web site we have on our application and mobile Web site,” Ms. Wagy said.
“ShopNBC has our own 24/7 broadcasts selling products on TV and online, and we’re promoting our mobile site and the iPhone on our broadcasts, as well as with TV commercials,” she said.
“During the broadcasts, the hosts will tell people to try out the mobile site and the app, and we run promos demonstrating how the mobile site and app can be used.”
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily