Click It

A new technology firm in Birmingham speeds up online shopping.

Frustrated by how long it takes to research and purchase consumer goods that appear in a video, Chris Roebuck sought to streamline the process. Working with his father and cousin, Roebuck launched Clicktivated Video in Birmingham, which for the first time provides an easy way to access links to buy a book, a kitchen cabinet, or a pizza oven.

“We wanted to create something that would give people direct interaction with a video,” says Roebuck, Clicktivated’s managing director. “Say you’re watching a cooking show by Wolfgang Puck. If you like his chef’s jacket or a certain knife, you just click on it (with your mouse or finger) and our technology provides a direct link where you can purchase the item. It’s fully proprietary technology that doesn’t exist anywhere else.”

During a recent demonstration, Roebuck, his father, Joe Roebuck, president, and his cousin, Ben Hatala, account executive, said consumers have two options when they click on an item: the links are automatically listed below the video for immediate purchase, or the links can be saved to access later. “We designed the player from scratch and made it as user-friendly as possible,” Chris Roebuck says. “It doesn’t get any easier than clicking on an item.”

The technology platform offers such promise that it recently drew an investment from a “shark tank” venture capital fund in Birmingham. Called IncWell, the fund has 14 investors, including Roger Penske, chairman of Penske Corp. in Bloomfield Hills, former Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda, and Ted Fuller, a real estate investor in Birmingham.

“E-commerce holds the greatest potential for our technology, but it can also be used for informational and educational purposes,” Chris Roebuck says. “We try to provide links to the most popular items in a video, and we have the ability to add a link if people keep clicking on a certain item that hasn’t been tagged.”

Using new or existing video, Clicktivated uses heat-mapping technology to discern consumer preferences. Yellow means a product is getting a few clicks, orange reveals notable interest, and red means an item is popular.

To generate revenue, the company charges a subscription or a licensing fee. In addition, Clicktivated takes a small share of each sale; and it plans to monetize the various data collected from consumer experiences. db