AWS for Industries

Home Shopping Europe builds new live commerce app HSE HELLO with Amazon IVS

The drive to build interactive experiences for its customers runs in the DNA of Home Shopping Europe GmbH (HSE). From HSE’s origins as the first German teleshopping channel, the live commerce company is reimagining customer engagement. Television, online, and mobile shopping solutions on HSE—which offers clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, home goods, and other items—generate more than $1 billion in annual revenue. The company has now taken the next step and launched its own live shopping app, HSE HELLO.

To be sure that the app can scale with user demand and stay flexible for ongoing development, HSE built HELLO on Amazon Web Services (AWS). The company uses Amazon Interactive Video Service (Amazon IVS)—a service to build engaging live stream and interactive video experiences—to power live video streams, and it has built its overall digital platform on AWS as well.

“We want to deliver the most entertaining shopping experience, one that inspires purchases, and our approach is multichannel,” said Roland Geringer, Director of Ecommerce at HSE. “It is also paramount that we have flexibility with our technology, because we’re building for our needs today as well as for the future. With HSE HELLO, we were launching something new and didn’t know what to expect, and using Amazon IVS—and AWS in general—we have the option to make adjustments.”

Holger Stary, HSE Director of Digital Technology added: “We rebuilt our digital platform from scratch a few years ago on AWS because of its flexibility and architecture. AWS engineers guided us in the early days of our implementation and continued offering support.” Stary concluded: “We found the same level of close collaboration with the Amazon IVS team.”

Development on the HSE HELLO app kicked off in early 2022. The app was ready to launch in under 7 months, and HSE kept implementing new features based on a data-driven strategy. “To be fast and develop new features based on customer needs is central to our agile product development practice,” explained Holger.

To live stream on the app, creators log in to a specialized portal, interact with viewers through chat built into Amazon IVS, and respond in real time. HSE anticipates adding more interactive chat elements in the future.

After a stream, HSE provides creators with a report of key metrics, such as viewership and transactions, which provide a better understanding of audience demographics and the content that is motivating purchases. Though live video is a central feature of HSE HELLO, streams can also be recorded for on-demand viewing using Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), object storage built to retrieve any amount of data from anywhere.

“Amazon IVS is the core of HSE HELLO, and without it, we would not be able to establish this new business model. We’ve learned a lot, and what we’ve uncovered is inspiring ongoing development,” says Stary. “With AWS, we can focus more on delivering value to our customers instead of infrastructure; AWS and Amazon IVS are great enablers.”

Geringer said that “the amount of content that can be distributed through our traditional TV channels is limited by the hours in the day. HSE HELLO is a solution to a strategic problem and we have grand ambitions for it.” In closing, Geringer added, “The content distribution possibilities are boundless for creators; the app can run thousands of concurrent streams, all at different lengths.”

Along with Amazon IVS, the app uses Amazon Personalize, which uses machine learning to tailor experiences for each viewer. Other AWS services that the app employs include AWS Fargate, serverless compute for containers, and Amazon CloudWatch, a service for observing and monitoring resources and applications. As the app onboards creators and viewers, its development team continues to explore new functionalities based on user insights.

For more information about building with interactive live video, check out Amazon IVS.