Q&A: Delivery Agent CEO Mike Fitzsimmons on the Rise of ‘T-Commerce’

Mike FitzsimmonsShoppable video has been one of the marketing industries many holy grails for some time now, but it’s only recently that the technology has started to catch up with the original vision. One of the companies at the heart of ‘t-commerce’ is Delivery Agent, a US-based company who have been working with Samsung on bringing shoppable video to their range of connected TVs. Here Mike Fitzsimmons, CEO at Delivery Agent, explains the nature of the deal and about how t-commerce works and how it is likely to be received by consumers and the wider industry.

Could you give a little background on the first deployment you’re doing with Samsung?

MF: This week, we announced that Samsung Smart TV viewers can shop directly from their TVs simultaneously while viewing their favourite TV shows, enabling a true contextual shopping experience.

However, the first phase of our partnership with Samsung was the launch of Delivery Agent’s ShopTV marketplace, a 24/7 shop-by-remote marketplace preinstalled in Samsung 2012 and 2013 Smart TVs. Consumers who visit the ShopTV application, found in the recommended app section of Samsung’s Smart Hub, can shop for products from their favorite TV shows and brands using just their remote control.  

What we announced at CES, with Samsung and H&M was the deployment of the first shoppable television ad. During Super Bowl XLVIII, consumers will have the opportunity to engage with and transact directly from the H&M ad featuring David Beckham.

H&M is the first retailer to launch a fully enabled t-commerce advertising campaign. The campaign includes the shoppable ad and the launch of an H&M t-commerce boutique accessible by visiting Delivery Agent’s ShopTV on Samsung Smart TVs.  Additionally, consumers can access the boutique via ShopTV on the web, and on mobile devices and tablets.

Do you have any idea of what to expect in terms of conversion rate?  

This is an emerging medium. The data that comes out of the H&M campaign, which will go well beyond conversion rates, will give unprecedented intelligence to all of our ecosystem partners – from media companies to TV content platform companies to advertisers. The data will help shape the roadmap for t-commerce.

With that said, our measure of success today has been tied to our ability to align the largest TV manufacturer with the largest TV event and a billion dollar international retailer to execute this groundbreaking campaign.

Can t-commerce be used with any content, or only certain formats?  Isn’t it intrusive?

Yes, it can be used with any content. The average U.S. household watches over 5 hours of television programming a day.  That figure accounts for all programming including advertising.  Our goal is aligned with the current capabilities of our technology platform – to make all programming shoppable.

The shopping experience is an “opt-in” experience.  Our data supports that consumers want to engage and transact. We recently completed the “U.S. T-Commerce Purchasing Report” which revealed a strong interest from consumers to engage with and shop for products directly from the TV screen. Results showed that 68% of respondents were interested in using their TV to shop. Of those interested in shopping, 82% wanted to purchase products seen in or tied to their favorite shows and 76% were interested in purchasing products or services directly from commercials.  With that said, to reiterate, this is an opt-in experience.

Where do you think t-commerce will steal market share from – ecommerce or advertising?

T-commerce will not take money from either ecommerce or television advertising. It will drive both and make both more valuable. It is part of the bigger move to digital across all businesses.

How is t-commerce going to evolve in the coming year?

There will be an increased penetration of connected devices including TVs, consoles and set top boxes. It’s our belief that the industry is at an unprecedented point in its evolution and that increased adoption of these devices will drive the market forward.

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