TL; DR: TVPage (TVP) is a video-based ecommerce platform that connects brands and influencers to drive traffic, engagement, and conversions. The technology allows approved sales associates and content creators to share shoppable content via cloud-hosted storefronts and receive commission payouts on every sale generated. Brands can easily manage candidates, set commission rates, moderate posts, and monitor results. Ultimately, TVP serves as a liaison between content-hungry brands and eager online salespeople, allowing them to work together toward the mutual benefit of increased conversions.
For years, salespeople have served a key role in the brick-and-mortar retail space — ushering in customers, informing them of promotions, and helping them find products.
Yet, aside from the occasional chatbot, ecommerce stores have failed to provide a helpful alternative to the in-person engagement experience offered at physical stores.
“Nobody would ever think to open a brick-and-mortar store without a salesperson — it would be complete sacrilege,” said Matt Hanan, VP of Client Success at TVPage (TVP). “Yet when people take their catalogs and put them online, they overlook this key piece of the online purchasing funnel.”
TVP is looking to solve that problem with an engagement-focused platform that helps brands staff their ecommerce stores with online salespeople, including approved employees, industry influencers, and even outspoken customers.
The platform allows these sales personnel to set up cloud-hosted storefronts as subdomains to brand sites, forming shoppable, video-based engagement opportunities with commissionable links. TVP makes for a win-win scenario in that brands can more easily source influencers and publish engaging content, while influencers can grow followers and earn measurable commissions.
“Between influencers, store associates, and customers, there are a lot of people out there generating social content for brands,” Matt told us. “Our job is to harness that power, but bring it into an ecosystem where brands can measure and control it.”
Through TVP’s partnerships and integrations with popular ecommerce platforms, marketing automation tools, messaging solutions, and analytics software, the company ensures a smooth, user-friendly process for brands, customers, and salespeople alike.
Harnessing the Power of Video to Boost Conversions
TVP’s founders introduced the social ecommerce platform to the market in 2015 amid an ecommerce boom (according to Statista, ecommerce sales around the globe reached almost $1.55 trillion that year).
“The industry had moved past the phase where ecommerce was this new thing — it had become the way that everyone needed to do business,” Matt said. “Retailers saw their ecommerce sites become their highest-performing stores.”
The company’s initial mission was to help brands dynamically populate their online catalogs with contextually relevant video content designed to increase sales. But while most brands recognized the value of video in boosting conversions, they had trouble creating content at scale.
“The problem that brands — particularly small and medium-sized retailers — would run into was generating and sourcing video content for the thousands or millions of SKUs in their catalogs,” Matt said. “You would have to go through an expensive creative process in terms of money and time. When you considered the lifecycle of a product, it didn’t work.”
The TVP team soon realized that this barrier to growth could be eliminated with the help of influencers, store associates, and even customers who were already generating relevant content on social media. By acting as a liaison between brands and these online content creators, TVP could help both parties earn more.
“It was about formalizing the process,” Matt told us. “An influencer, they can put something on social media with the intent to make money off of affiliate links, but that content lives for about 30 seconds before it’s pushed down in the feed on whatever network they’re on. But taking that content and bringing it into an ecosystem built around monetizing products is super valuable and powerful.”
Helping Break Reliance on Brick-and-Mortar Stores
TVP is considered a social commerce platform because it leverages social media interaction and user contributions to sell online products. The social commerce area has grown in recent years and is projected to generate $604.5 billion in sales by 2027.
Matt told us that the events of 2020 served to accelerate growth in the ecommerce space at large, giving businesses a reason to adopt modern digital solutions like TVP.
“While 2020 was a wrecking ball of tragedy that I wouldn’t want to minimize in any way, I think when the dust finally settles, people will look back and see the silver lining from a technology perspective,” he said. “It forced businesses to take action on the topics they had discussed in boardrooms for the last five years, like how to do more with influencers and break dependencies on physical stores.”
With stores shuttered, TVP provides a way for salespeople to transition to what the company refers to as the social commerce cloud. The platform’s cloud-hosted storefronts act as a permanent home for content, helping drive traffic through SEO (shoppable videos are discoverable on Google search).
Retailers can obtain rights to the content, continually using it to enhance everything from retargeting campaigns to abandoned cart emails. And, with TVP’s prescreened community of social content creators, brands can easily establish, grow, and commission a team of trusted online sales professionals.
“By enabling salespeople to go beyond the limitations of physical stores, we are helping retailers that have always been focused on brick-and-mortar locations adjust to the online world,” Matt said. “These changes we’ve seen aren’t temporary — this is going to be the way the world does business going forward.”
Fostering Conversion-Boosting Engagement Online
In 2018, TVP reported that it saw a 500% increase in revenue generated for clients who had enabled the company’s ecommerce storefronts.
“It sounds funny, but sometimes it’s a challenge to get potential clients to believe that these conversion rates are possible,” Matt said. “Sometimes they’ll challenge us — which always leads to a great conversation because we have some really eye-opening data.”
Between dollars and hours saved creating content, higher engagement rates, and increased conversions, return on investment comes from many different places. Another perk of the platform is its ability to foster trust in online brands.
“When you start to populate your online store with salespeople who help engage consumers and teach them about your product without feeling like they’re being pitched to, it’s a tremendous thing,” Matt said. “That’s where we see conversion rates that are three to five times higher.”
Matt told us that influencers can help with upselling, the practice of inviting the customer to purchase upgrades and other revenue-generating add-ons. The same goes for cross-selling — a sales technique in which the seller encourages customers to buy a related product or service.
“When we look at average order values, we see massive increases over typical sitewide conversion rates when people engage with salespeople,” Matt said.
A Focus on Partnerships and Enhanced Content Distribution
TVP has major plans in store for the year ahead.
“A lot of our growth lately has been around the partners that we work with and the ability to enhance the distribution of content throughout the entire funnel,” Matt said. “We’re focused on supercharging the growth of these programs with our brands.”
The company is also looking to make it easier than ever to facilitate live online shopping events.
“We have some great digital engagement tools available for our storefronts today that utilize video conferencing, but we’re looking to expand on that, making it more of a native experience,” Matt said. “It’s exciting stuff.”