If you haven’t heard of Delivery Agent, you’ve probably interacted with it if you watch television without knowing it. Product placement and advertising are part of television’s DNA but t-commerce is a growing industry and Delivery Agent’s focus, since 2005, is on making it simple, connected, and intuitive. CEO Mike Fitzsimmons told me that they started:
…with the vision that television and e-commerce were on a collision course and that meant a couple of things. First and foremost, we enable people to buy things that they’ve seen on television, so that’s key for us is the idea that the inspiration for the purchase begins with the exposure from television. It can be product placement, it could be something fashion, or a product you see in a commercial. We’re trying to make it easy for consumers to buy things they see on TV. Another tenant is that it has to happen anywhere, anytime, and on any device. We powered online stores for PCs…if you think about where we are today, we’re doing the same things on mobile devices and connected TVs.
Delivery Agent does many things: from running in-content advertising campaigns on live and connected tv programming and providing analytics to making it possible to buy products featured in content. If you have a Samsung television, you have an app called “ShopTV” that you can load just like you would Netflix. Through a partnership with retailers like Walmart and Overstock, viewers could theoretically do all of their shopping from their couch this season.
That’s all great — but when can I impulsively buy Olivia Pope’s pea coat with my remote, Mike? He thinks we need to hold our horses:
That piece of the pie is relatively new. We’ve run a number of campaigns — we did one with H&M during the Super Bowl. Thats more recent in terms of the ability to serve an over the top call to action while you’re watching. We do a whole bunch of things, though. We were one of the first to roll out a Twitter commerce campaign.
So if I’m following “Scandal,” tweet about “Scandal,” maybe I get a discount at J.Crew through Twitter during the broadcast. That works. Fitzsimmons is level-headed about the future of t-commerce:
We built this foundational business around enabling you to buy the stuff you see. The next chapter is exciting, as all these devices get connected, whether it’s your mobile device turning into the remote control, or buying from a tweet…Sometimes we tend to get carried away with the remote control itself. It’s really a shortsighted way to think about it. You need to think more broadly about the digital touch-points, really think about what the living room of the future looks like and then connect the dots about commerce opportunities.