ere’s an e-commerce development that caught my attention this week:
A company called TV Runway is in the midst of negotiating with TV networks to enable viewers of websites like Hulu, ESPN.com, etc., to shop for jewelry and clothing items worn on their favorite shows.
Three hundred retailers have signed up so far, says Terena Bell, co-founder and CEO.
Although many of those retailers tend to be large, there’s no reason small independents can’t participate, as long as the retailer’s inventory can be updated automatically every day. There is no cost to sign up but a percentage of the sales price – 5 to 10 percent — would be paid to TVRunway as a commission.
“It could be a great way for a small local store to extend its reach,” Bell says. “Let us into your inventory and we can compare it against what’s in the show.”
Each item of jewelry worn on a participating show will be compared to the inventory in the TV Runway system and the top three closest matches are displayed for purchase. The viewer can either buy it instantly or mark it as “favored” and save it to a wish list. If it’s labeled as “favored,” the information about the item and where to buy it would be sent to the shopper via email.
“While you are watching a TV show on the web, you just hit pause and click on the item,” Bell says. The user doesn’t need to download anything, but if the network has decided that they want to participate, the user can turn the shopping feature on or off.
The jewelry shown will be chosen entirely by how well it matches the piece on the show. Retailers can’t pay extra to have their pieces chosen, or to have only their piece shown during a certain show.
“It’s based on the best match,” Bell says. “We want to deliver the best experience to the consumer.”
If it’s an old movie, the closest replica or vintage piece available for sale would be displayed.
Although she can’t yet reveal which networks will participate, Bell says TV Runway will be up and running in about a month.
For more information, see www.tvrunwayit.com