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December 1 , 2009

Zappos.com brings shoppping to life with Overlay.TV
Radically changes how customers interact

E-commerce has brought us a world of products on demand, but traditionally, the experience has been closer to shopping from a catalogue than a retail store. Zappos.com, a leader in online apparel and footwear sales and the undisputed heavyweight champions of customer service, has partnered with interactive video firm Overlay.TV to bring its catalogue of products to life through video and to radically transform the way customers interact with the online store.

Following the launch of Overlay.TV for Retail earlier this summer, the new Zappos.com has taken the next step from image to video-based product descriptions. The clickable videos are fully integrated with the site's e-commerce back-end and dynamically reflect inventory events such as out-of-stock and discontinued items as well as promotions and special offerings. The solution enables viewers to shop directly from videos that can be shared across the web on blogs and social network profiles.

"The ability to see a product in action, to click on it for more information, to share it on Facebook, and add it to your cart without even leaving the page is a major change for this industry," says Rob Lane, CEO and Co-Founder of Overlay.TV. "Our approach is 100% about improving the customer experience, and giving them the tools to share that experience with their networks, which makes what we're doing a perfect fit for Zappos."

Zappos.com is rolling out its Overlay.TV for Retail deployment in two phases, initially enabling "Engagement Pages" with specific brands like Nike, before implementing the technology on all product pages. As part of this phase, users will be able to access premium content provided by Zappos.com and its partner brands and record video testimonials and product reviews to enhance the site's community recommendations.

"User reviews are extremely powerful, and putting a face to those reviews makes them even more valuable to the consumer," says Lane. "It's the difference in credibility between a recommendation given to you by a friend and one scrawled on the bathroom wall."

For Zappos.com, an important part of the Overlay.TV for Retail offering is its scalability.

"Overlay.TV for Retail made a lot of sense to us," says Brian Kalma, Director of User Experience & Web Strategy for Zappos.com. "It enables us to stay focused on content, experience an overall better service, without the need to invest heavily in video production and delivery, or go through huge efforts to modify our media every time we want to offer our customers a better promotion. The brand pages are also exciting, as they bring our user community closer and more intimate with our partners."

The interactive video-enabled store can be found on the Zappos.com site at http://www.zappos.com/nike.

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