I recently had the chance to catch up with Craig Shields, vice president of eCommerce at Jewelry Television, to understand what impact the transition to agile commerce is having on Jewelry Television, its business strategy, and its organizational structure.

Jewelry Television was founded in 1993 and is the only television home shopping network focused entirely on jewelry and gemstones. Today the Internet plays a large role in the company's growth strategy including JTV.com, auction site JTVauctions.com, and the newly launched DiamondDesignGallery.com.  

Forrester: Craig, thanks for taking some time out to talk to us about agile commerce. We have been talking to clients about the evolution of their business from channels to touchpoints that span mobile devices, social networks, advertising, marketing, traditional channels, and various places online. Your business is a little unique with your use of TV as a direct response marketer. How are you looking at agile commerce and in particular the potential impact of iTV and other consumer devices such as tablets?

Mr. Shields: The tablet and iTV are ushering in TV/Internet convergence at a break-neck pace, and for media companies with a large television presence, this means understanding how the customer is using each device to interact with you.  Do they want an interactive TV experience or are they using the tablet as a companion application while watching your network?  Whatever the answer, we know we need to be nimble and be ready to provide purchase functionality to any device.

Forrester: As businesses evolve from a channel-centric focus to a customer-centric focus, how do you think your organization will need to change to respond to the changes in the ways you do business? How does the delivery of content, marketing, and transactional and service capabilities come together in the future?

Mr. Shields: The proliferation of new Internet-connected consumer electronics is challenging businesses to service their customers in several new form factors including smartphones, tablets, net books, computers, and now even the TV in the living room. This presents a serious scalability challenge in that many of these devices require unique development environments. Companies will not be able to keep up by implementing a bunch of one-off solutions. It will be expensive to maintain, and customers will likely suffer from inconsistent experiences across devices. Companies with a more open architecture will have an edge — for example, a central platform that manages inventory, customer accounts, orders, search, promotions, content, etc. That will keep the UI development as lean as possible, allowing companies to react to changes more efficiently.

Forrester: With the pace of change so high, what areas are you focused on now to prepare for the changes to come?

Mr. Shields: The Internet entering the living room is challenging everyone from major networks, cable providers, Internet providers, and media companies to prepare for some exciting years come. We continue to move toward a more open architecture that allows us to enter new markets with minimal development effort. 

Forrester: Thanks so much, Craig. Great to hear from a business with some unique touchpoints about how you're thinking about agile commerce. 

This is the fifth in a series of interviews with executives about the ways they are responding to agile commerce. I really appreciate Craig’s participation and look forward to bringing more of these to you. If you are interested in participating in this series or have ideas for eBusiness & Channel Strategy leaders you would like to see us include, please email me at brianwalker@forrester.com.


For more on agile commerce, read our blog post or our report, or participate in our community discussions.