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HSN exec: Mobile year-to-date sales top $100M

With mobile sales growing significantly, HSN has launched its first gift guide designed for the iPad to engage tablet users with easy access to gift ideas across all categories.

So far this year, HSN’s mobile sales have grown more than 200 percent, totaling more than $100 million. With sales evenly split between smartphones and tablets, HSN is looking to cater to its quickly growing tablet business via the new interactive gift guide.

“We love the tablet,” said Jill Braff, executive vice president of digital commerce at HSN, St. Petersburg, FL. “We think it is a killer device when it comes to shopping because of the ability to have a more immersive experience.

“We are seeing very fast tablet growth,” she said. “Over 20 percent of our revenue from digital is on mobile and that is roughly split between tablets and smartphones.

“We use the tablet not just as a commerce device but also as an engagement device. With live chat, the ability to create custom playlists – all of those things together create a tablet experience.”

Easy checkout
The gift guide, which is available from HSN’s mobile site, provides an interactive experience, with users able to swipe up, down as well as right and left to move through shopping categories.

All of the product photos have hotspots enabling users to click on a product in which they are interested and buy it from within the guide. For users who have shopped with HSN before, all they have to do is enter a password and checkout or they can add an item to their cart and keep shopping.

“Whether on a tablet or a smartphone, mobile is really about convenience of the experience,” Ms. Braff said. “We want to make it easy for people and as frictionless as possible.

“It is much more satisfying to have the option of getting in, getting a great gift and getting out if that is all you time for,” she said. “Or, you can shop more immersively if you want.

“We really think about putting flexibility in the hands of consumers, especially when it comes to mobile.”

Great shopping experiences
Users can also take a quiz from within the guide that will help them find an appropriate gift. Additionally, users can create a shopping list or wish list and share it with friends via social media or email.

“We just launched our very first interactive gift guide that is tablet-optimized because we want to make sure our customers who may have not downloaded our app will find a great shopping experience around HSN,” Ms. Braff said.

The gift guide is just the latest example of HSN’s strong commitment to the mobile category. The retailer also recently launched a Windows 8 app and refreshed its mobile apps and mobile site about six weeks ago.

“HSN is really looking at digital first this season and recognizing that increasingly people are tuning into use with a tablet or mobile phone in hand,” Ms. Braff said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York