A Store in Every Living Room: The Smart TV As Retailer

January 5, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Ever since eBay hooked up with Bliss Spa back in 2012, we’ve known that the ability to interface the real world with mobile shopping and mobile payments goes together about like a hand in a glove. New reports suggest that this connection may be about to be extended still further thanks to things like the ShopTV app from Connekt gets its way.

The reports suggest that ShopTV will actually manage to change advertising by giving advertisers the means to offer consumers a new feature: a “buy now” button embedded directly in the ad. That’s not just for 30-second spots between shows, either, but could actually be added to things like sporting events and even within shows themselves.

ShopTV got something of a soft launch last year, but has been slowly making its way to television providers from LG to Hisense, and ShopTV has been gathering shopper data ever since for later use. Right now, the biggest problem is increasing customer awareness, as many viewers don’t even know this concept exists, let alone is able to use right now in at least some cases.

There is one great problem with advertising, and that problem is called “latency.” Much like internet latency, advertising latency is the time that elapses between a customer seeing a product in an ad of some sort, and actually buying the product. The longer the latency is, the less the chance is the consumer will buy.

Naturally, with mobile payments systems and tools like ShopTV, latency can be reduced to virtually nil, and that’s just the outcome that retailers want. Of course, that raises some new and disturbing questions like the level of advertising that can be targeted to children complete with zero-latency buy now ads, but that’s the kind of thing mobile apps have increasingly had to address for some time now anyway.

In the end, the ShopTV concept—with mobile payments to help fill in that last gap between the consumer, his or her money, and the advertiser—could be a major sea change in retail. Or it could be the start of a disaster. Only time will tell which, but we could be looking at the next mobile shopping renaissance to come.