HSN, Univision Join Forces to Capture Online Shopping Carts

by , Dec 12, 2013, 10:00 AM
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This holiday season, millions of Hispanics will turn to the Internet to take care of their holiday shopping, and giants Univision and HSN have launched a synergistic, three-year partnership to capture a share of their shopping carts.

And those carts are huge. According to eMarketer, U.S. e-commerce sales will reach $296 billion this year. With online Hispanics making up 15% of the online market, that translates to a $44 billion opportunity. 

As I discussed last year, the Hispanic e-commerce space is wide open with few major retailers proactively addressing this opportunity. Univision and HSN will be competing head-to-head with leading retailers who offer Spanish language online experiences including Best Buy, Sears and CVS.

On paper, the partnership seems synergistic and well positioned to resonate with online Hispanics. In addition to a large Hispanic audience and an established brand, Univision brings a roster of well-known Hispanic talent to the venture that will help drive credibility, awareness and cultural relevance. HSN brings a vast selection of marquee products, fulfillment, credit solutions, marketing and merchandising and strong direct sales experience.

Clear focus on online Latinas

The e-commerce partnership between Univision and HSN comes to life as a Spanish language, mobile optimized, co-branded storefront called “Boutique Univision.” The storefront is clearly targeted at women, and merchandises a narrow selection of products from HSN across categories including personal care, fashion, electronics, kitchen and home in addition to a special holiday section and daily offer.

The storefront’s target segment and product mix appear to be spot on as Latinas are driving the Hispanic online market and over-index in their consumption across the majority of the product categories being offered, according to a Nielsen.

Plenty of room to optimize experience for online Hispanics

In navigating through the storefront, I found a few areas for improvement. First, the online journey is currently disjointed as consumers who want to purchase a product start on a Spanish language, co-branded experience on Univision.com and are redirected to a very Anglo-feeling HSN.com in English without notification to complete a purchase.

Although many online Hispanics are comfortable navigating in English, the current experience may cause brand confusion and create some issues for those who are less comfortable transacting in English. In addition, I was surprised that the boutique does not have a dedicated social media presence and does not allow users to share content via social as Hispanics are highly engaged with social media.

It will be interesting to see how this partnership evolves over the next few years and whether these two giants are able to capture a share of the giant Hispanic e-commerce market. 

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