News

Nets Make Holiday Commerce Push

11/26/2000 7:00 PM Eastern

Cable networks are launching a bevy of promotions, special deals and offers to dazzle shoppers as they head into the holiday retail season.

Home Shopping Network created an "Only on HSN" promotional campaign that involves broadcast, print, logo design, interactive, on air-graphics and well-recognized brand names, such as the National Football League and restaurateur Wolfgang Puck.

Set to coincide with the holiday season and intended to encourage sampling by new customers, the campaign consists of local broadcast and national cable spots.

QVC maintains the best promotion it can give its customers is good customer service. But iQVC (
www.qvc.com
), the online retailing division, offers a "Gifts@iQVC" holiday shop that features more than 80,000 items spanning a variety of categories, making it easy for shoppers during crunch time. If shoppers still can't decide what to buy, they can chat live online with an expert consultant through iQVC's "Live Person" customer-service feature.

Cable's entertainment networks also are focused on the fourth quarter. A&E Networks' Web sites generate 75 percent of the company's online revenue via e-commerce, and most of that comes in the fourth quarter, according to Todd Tarpley, vice president of A&E's interactive division.

"In terms of e-commerce, the fourth quarter is our best quarter, and we come out with all guns blazing," Tarpley says. For example, starting Dec. 1, historychannel.com will launch a "History of the Holidays" content feature, covering Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. The feature ties to numerous video, DVD or book retail products.

A&E Network's online store (at
aetv.com
) includes a holiday-shopping boutique, featuring 49 videos and DVDs from A&E, Biography Channel and The History Channel.

To encourage traffic, A&E Networks began running holiday spots for the Web site in early November, along with an electronic-mail direct marketing campaign.

Though the holidays don't necessarily equate with science fiction, Sci Fi Channel's Web site does very well during the holiday season.

"
Farscape

calendars and
X-Files

DVDs make excellent gifts," reported Joe Rybandt, executive director for scifi.com's e-commerce and merchandising division.

To promote the Web site's store, the division uses old-fashioned direct mail and as much cross-promotion as possible.

"We just try to target our audience," Rybandt said. "
Farscape

is the top show on Sci Fi, and our top product category, so we try to run as many spots as we can during the show."

September