If you tuned in to this year’s Super Bowl, you saw H&M’s commercial that enabled viewers to make purchases through their television based on what David Beckham was wearing during the clip.
This new, “t-commerce” platform is something that brands are exploring, but few are delivering because smart TVs that enable these transactions are still in the early stages of adoption. One company that is breaking through the noise in the European market is tvbay, which allows users to make real-time, impulse-based decisions on what they want to purchase based on the commercial they are watching.
Let’s say you see a beauty product commercial and you’re interested in making a purchase. An icon in the corner of the TV screen appears and when you click “ok,” the set-top box launches a menu which will allow you to manage shopping carts and execute purchases.
I met with Katarina Kolackovska, tvbay’s head of marketing and sales, at Apps World North America to discuss how this new product came about.
“I first started to think about tvbay back in 2012 when I was dealing with a cable operator in Slovakia,” she said. “During our discussion, they were speaking about the necessity to provide their viewers with something special, something that would differentiate them from their competition. As an ordinary TV viewer, something I had always wished was available to me was a possibility to purchase items that I saw on TV. So this came to my mind and I introduced my idea to the executives of the cable company and they were astonished. From there, tvbay has emerged and I decided to build a team around it.”
tvbay has its sights on bring t-commerce to a new level through interactions between viewers and TV broadcasters -- something that has never been done before. An additional aspect of tvbay that is unique is the ability for viewers to place wagers on sporting events that are on TV. While this isn’t legal in the United States, it provides a more interactive and gamified way to watch your favorite team in locations where this is allowed.
In creating their Superbowl commercial, H&M wanted to allow viewers to feel empowered to make a real-time purchasing decision while promoting the use of t-commerce capabilities and Samsung’s Smart TV. Much like wearable technology, the t-commerce industry will soon become the wild, wild, west, with the battle between smart TV providers and retailers fighting to be top dog; tvbay hopes to rise above that noise.
“Our aim is to provide viewers with another sales channels through which they can purchase things they see on TV quickly, easily and from comfort of their sofa,” Kolackovska said. “Once we can bring this to users across the globe, then we will be able to look at our project and say that we have been successful.”