In the 1970’s, Home Shopping Network (HSN) pioneered live-TV retail by providing viewers with an easier way to purchase products featured on HSN’s TV broadcast through their home telephone. With the introduction of HSN.com in the late 1990’s, customers could order online, quickly increasing HSN’s overall sales. Currently, HSN reaches more than 94 million homes and sells more than 50 million items every day.
HSN knew the spread of broadband and advances in online video presented a new opportunity to further enhance the customer experience. “People who watch video programming have an increased propensity to buy,” explained HSN, who selected Silverlight and IIS Smooth Streaming as the means to combine HD video and e-commerce into a seamless online retail experience.
Silverlight and IIS Smooth Streaming enabled a collaborative user experience possible through HD quality video. HSN designated three developers and one designer to create the Silverlight-based application in just two months using Expression Blend, Visual Studio and the .NET Framework.
Visitors to HSN’s Web site at http://hsn.tv now have the choice to either watch the current HD live video feed or other HD product demonstrations, if the current product doesn’t interest them. When a visitor decides to purchase a product, they are simply prompted to hit the ‘Shop Now’ button that directs them to a purchase screen. This direct link from the HD video stream to the purchase page has helped HSN increased conversion rates and sell additional products simultaneously from a library of 14,000 video assets. Check out the HSN Web site at http://hsn.tv or read the full Microsoft case study here.