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HSN focuses on its digital and mobile future

February 23, 2017 04:34 PM
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Mobile and digital initiatives will be front and center for HSN Inc. in 2017. The TV home-shopping network and e-retailer reported growth in e-commerce sales while its overall sales decreased in the fourth quarter of 2016. 

Online sales accounted for 55.0% of total sales in the quarter ended Dec. 31, a 6.4% dollar increase from 51.7% of sales in Q4 2016. For all of 2016, web sales accounted for 53.1% of sales, a 6.2% dollar increase from 50.0% in 2015. HSN Inc. does not break out e-commerce sales.

HSN Inc., No. 25 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, includes the online and TV retailer HSN, and the Cornerstone brands portfolio, which includes home furnishings retailers Garnet Hill, Frontgate, Ballard Designs, Improvements and Grandin Road. 

Mobile is an increasingly important part of HSN’s business, CEO Mindy Grossman told analysts on HSN Inc.’s earnings call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. “A mobile device is no longer just a point of sale or a means of checkout. It's increasingly our first point of contact and maybe the only form of engagement we have with certain consumers.”

Mobile sales generated 44.8% of online sales in Q4, a 12.0% increase from 40.0% in the year-ago period. For the year, mobile sales accounted for 42.0% of online sales, a 13.5% increase from 37.0% last year.

The e-retailer is using new approaches to acquire customers. Facebook Inc.’s live video platform and voice shopping, such as via smart home objects Amazon Echo and Google Home, are among the methods HSN is trying.

To date, HSN has held more than 70 Facebook Live events, in which the retailer broadcast a live video to its followers on the social media network. 

“70% of our customers are on Facebook and they're checking it three to four times a day,” Grossman said. “[Our customer]is very comfortable shopping digitally. So we have to make sure that everything we do certainly is going to keep our existing customer engaged, but it really is a focus on customer acquisition.”

In the fourth quarter, HSN enhanced its website personalization via an advanced internal search engine across all of its websites that powers product recommendations, Grossman said. It also launched quick payment option Visa Checkout, which helped add thousands of new customers, Grossman said.

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, HSN Inc. also reported:

  • Total HSN Inc. sales (HSN plus Cornerstone) of $1.07 billion a 2.7% decrease from $ 1.10 billion in Q4 2015.  
  • Within that total, HSN net sales of $769.3 million, a 1.2% decrease from $778.7 million.
  • Cornerstone net sales of $304.0 million, a 4.9% decrease from $319.5 million.
  • Net income of $43.5 million, a 27.1% decrease from $59.7 million.

For 2016, HSN Inc. reported:

  • Total HSN Inc. sales of $3.57 billion, a 3.3% decrease from $3.69 billion in 2015.
  • HSN net sales of $2.47 billion, a 2.8% decrease from $2.54 billion.
  • Cornerstone net sales of $1.09 billion, a 5.2% decrease from $1.15 billion.
  • Net income of $118.7 million, a 29.8% decrease compared with $169.2 million.

 

 

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