Sharper Image Adds Another Channel—a TV Channel

The Web, 149 stores, and 85 million catalogs annually aren’t enough for San Francisco-based high-tech gifts marketer Sharper Image Corp. On Feb. 2 the company launched its own interactive shopping television channel, Sharper Image ITV.

Broadcast on satellite TV programming provider DISH Network, Sharper Image ITV will feature 25 best-selling Sharper Image products, such as its line of Ionic Breeze silent air purifiers, the iJoy Turbo 2 Massage Chair, and the Emergency Radio/Spotlight. Viewers can make purchases via their DISH remote control rather than having to pick up the phone or head to the Website. According to DISH spokesperson Kelley Baca, Sharper Image ITV is the first channel in the U.S. to offer purchasing via remote control. “Much like e-commerce,” notes Sharper Image senior vice president of marketing Roger Bensinger, “interactive TV shopping is available 24/7, and you don’t have to get off your couch to do it.”

When shoppers make purchases, DISH will bill Sharper Image, which will then bill the customer and ships out the order. The company is expected to update its offerings at least quarterly, says Baca.

Bensinger says that the company will keep the pricing of products featured on the new channel consistent with the pricing offered on its channels. “We do not create incentives to give one channel an advantage over another,” he says. “Our goal is for our customers to decide where they want to shop based on their convenience.”

If sales of its best-sellers meet expectations, Sharper Image will consider offering additional product, Bensinger says. “This launch represents more than a test but far short of a roll-out of our entire assortment, The plan is to add more products and marketing efforts in phases,” he explains. This is a new channel, and we believe it will take while for customers to take advantage of the new service,” he says, “but our customers are early adopters, which is one of the reasons DISH chose to launch [this type of channel] with us.”

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