The dawn of interactive TV may come sooner than you think. New research by retail experts at Conlumino, commissioned by eBay, predicts that in just two years’ time interactive TV will generate £750 million worth of direct sales as one in four Brits will regularly use connected TVs to shop.
Conlumino analyst Neil Saunders warned that retailers need to meet consumer demand to create growth. He comments, “Channel convergence was born out of the rise of mobile a couple of years ago and is set to accelerate at an unprecedented rate. Just as major players adopted mobile, they must invest in these new technologies now if they are not to limit growth in the coming years.”He adds although modest, the investment required by retailers will create genuine growth opportunities. Beyond direct sales, introducing these new technologies—including augmented reality, smart devices and image recognition—could influence sales worth £9.1 billion by the end of 2014, compared to the £0.3 billion Conlumino calculates they contributed to the sector last year.
Simon Woodward, chief executive of digital TV specialist ANT, was more cautious, advising retailers not to be caught up in a chicken and egg situation. “Consumers won’t rush to shop through their television; they need to be shown how it works and the benefit of shopping via that medium.
“We’ve seen slow adoption of the new functionality in the connected TV, largely due to poor education around how plugging the internet into the back of your television can enhance the viewing experience. New technology adoption doesn’t just happen, technology is embraced when people are educated and excited by it.”
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