Why TV shopping experience needs to be reinvented
In the age of online retailers, the original home-shopping experience of TV needs to evolve. Online shopping today offers the users instant gratification, ease of use, and an experience customized based on their browsing history. On the other hand, traditional TV shopping could seem like a time-consuming process.
However, television shopping still has a wider reach, and offers a more lean-back experience that could work better if it could match up with customization capabilities of e-retailers.
India specific challenges, and how an IRD-based insertion platform can help
There are two ways shopping channels can localize content. The first method is to deliver customized graphics directly to operator headend via cloud, and manage overlays with custom playlists for each headend. While, this method is more cost-effective, it may not be best suited to reach hundreds of operators in geographically vast country such as India. Also, use of cloud could be restricted due to broadcast regulations. Interestingly, a simpler solution is available to shopping channels in India.
Instead of using the cloud for each headend, Indian shopping channels could use an intelligent Integrated Receiver/Decoder (IRD) that can detect graphics played in the original feed, and overlay custom graphics at the headend. This way, multiple operators could be reached using the common satellite feed, without making extensive changes to the existing infrastructure.
How graphics could be localized
An intelligent IRD can be installed at operators’ premises to overlay graphics at predefined intervals. Graphics to be localized could be sent to these IRDs using cloud or even satellite trickle bandwidth. Once the IRD receives the original feed, region-specific graphics can be overlaid based on the playlist provided by the shopping channel.
Reinvent TV shopping: Typical Workflow of Graphic Localization
Benefits for the Shopping Channels
Ability to play different graphics for each operator headend can facilitate business innovations for the shopping channels. For example, a shopping channel could boost sales of specific products in each city across India using customized bugs, Astons, or L-bands. Another benefit could be improving engagement by localizing language across graphics.
Localizing graphics could also help improve the service level for shopping channels while also generating useful user statistics. A shopping channel could potentially display local contact number for each operator, to track the user response, and to provide customer service in local language. The insights collected from the user feedback for each operator could then be used to develop an operator specific product marketing strategy.
As internet shopping experience becomes commonplace, shopping channels would need to stay relevant by reimagining user journeys. A vital step in this process could be gaining in-depth understanding of their buyers on an operator level. Customizing graphics could help shopping channels respond better to the needs of the buyers, and respond with a buyer-centric offering. While cloud can help TV networks in other parts of the world, an IRD-based solution could help Indian shopping channels deliver the same, rich user experience on existing satellite feeds.
The author is co-founder, Amagi Media Labs.
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