Armani Exchange innovates e-commerce with interactive video shopping using Ottawa’s Overlay TV

A/XGlobal fashion label Armani Exchange is a delivering highly interactive shopping experience to online consumers using technology developed by the Ottawa-based company Overlay TV.

So what’s Overlay TV? It’s clickable video, akin to what you might see in some new, creative YouTube videos.

The initial concept for Overlay.TV came about when the wife of one of our founders was watching a notoriously popular fashion-themed television show. She commented to her husband that she loved the shoes sported by the diminutive star but, alas, did not know where to find them. It was then that her husband had an epiphany – what if you could click on stuff while you watch it and find out more about it?

In that moment the idea for Overlay.TV was born.

Overlay TV was founded in 2007 in Ottawa, and now Armani Exchange is using its technology to take online shoppers to the next level.

In the “How to Wear it” section of the A/X website, users will be able to engage with videos embedded with clickable hotspots, which can link shoppers to more details on garment pieces. While this sort of ambitious technology would be considered too technically advanced for some fashion labels, A/X targets a demographic highly familiarized with social media, YouTube, and the like – making this foray a relatively safe leap and logical evolution.

“Shopping online and offline is still very much a ‘social experience,’ so giving our customers a chance to see new trends, get style tips from industry experts, and share this with their friends is an easy and natural extension of their online behavior,” says A/X Brand Director Patrick Doddy. “It’s important to us to evolve our site to meet the expectations of our demographic. Our online marketing and merchandising tools must be easy to use, work with our target customer base, and be flexible and effective, and it must be fully integrated with the MarketLive platform. The ability for us to get to market quickly and without managing multiple tools was a big advantage for us.”

overlay“There’s no question that clickable video is going to be one of the strongest forces in ecommerce in the coming years,” says Rob Lane, CEO of Overlay TV. “Making content that’s compelling, clickable and sharable moves online video down the funnel from marketing to direct sales, with measurable benefits at each stage.”

E-commerce platform MarketLive is also involved in this project with Overlay and A/X.

“We’re thrilled to have Overlay TV as a strategic partner,” said Ralf VonSosen, vice-pres of product management at MarketLive. “They’re a leader in what they do, and their focus on using video to increase sales and reduce costs falls right in line with our philosophy.

In addition to A/X’s work with Overlay and MarketLive, they’re now producing online 3D videos to promote their products, and offering free 3D glasses – both in stores and by snail mail. Unsurprisingly, they’re sold out of 3D glasses by snail mail in North America, but stop by their stores on Robson Street in Vancouver or Yonge Street in Toronto for a free pair.