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Sony streamlines TV commerce via mobile

Sony is aiming to push direct TV commerce for avid television watchers through platform Delivery Agent.

In a move from desktop to mobile and tablet devices, Delivery Agent’s ShopTV platform has been integrated into Sony’s TV SideView mobile application. With primetime networks hopping on, such as NBC, CBS, Fox, FX and others, consumers are able to purchase items seen in the respective networks’ shows directly via their Android and iOS devices.

“As ecommerce continues to rapidly grow, mcommerce is a core part of that,” said Mike Fitzsimmons, CEO of Delivery Agent, San Francisco. “Through this collaboration, we’re harnessing the emotional connection that consumers have with the shows they love.”

Direct purchasing
Delivery Agent began its journey in 2005, allowing customers to watch their favorite shows and shop for reflective products via desktop. Their first project was with network NBC’s shows Will and Grace and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

As mobile usage has grown, Delivery Agent wished to be a part of that space, which led to similar collaborations with Samsung for its smart TVs, where users can purchase directly through Samsung’s myTifi remote app.

As Sony is likely attempting to replace remote controls with smart phones, the company found great use from the U.S. Open Tennis Championships, and fans could purchase tennis products while watching via SideView.

Delivery Agent’s partnerships with primetime networks have involved working directly with producers of the shows and obtaining model and brand information on each item.

SideView is preloaded on Xperia and Sony Android devices. The app is available on other Android and iOS devices for free download.

For this collaboration, users can shop for TV-related items on their second screen devices while watching shows. When users select TV program in Programming Guide or Top Picks, the app shows the detailed information. When those icons are clicked, the SHOPTV service is offered as an interactive viewing experience.

Consumers are looking for more ways to integrate their mobile devices with their favorite shows and other entertainment events, and this capability adds to the possibilities for brands and networks to take advantage of.

Direct shopping
Tools such as image recognition are also being used to form a more direct way of shopping for consumers.

Europe’s largest online retailer, Zalando SE, is testing an image recognition application that allows users to photograph people’s outfits and get recommendations for similar clothing items.

The Berlin-based retailer announced its plans for testing the new feature in the mobile app this week. Founded in 2008, Zalando aims to expand its brand and will be filing for an initial public offering within the next few months (see story).

This summer, beauty marketer L’Oreal Paris incorporated in-image advertising platform GumGum’s photo recognition technology to target consumers through digital advertisements.

L’Oreal adopted GumGum’s image recognition technology to pick up on the hair colors of consumers in photos to promote its Ombre hair color campaign. L’Oreal attempted this digital marketing strategy to personalize advertisements based on the consumer and her specific hair color (see story).

The realm of commerce continues to expand, allowing all types of brands and retailers to utilize the many tools available in mobile commerce.

“Today, there are many devices that make this capability possible, and those devices have become much more user-friendly,” Mr. Fitzsimmons said. “More brands and retailers are selling directly through ecommerce and mcommerce, and with the average household watching more than five hours of television everyday, we want to furnish that influence.”

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York