Home shopping comes to your TV remote control

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Home shopping comes to your TV remote control

A television-based commerce platform is in full swing to attract consumers who want to buy things as they watch TV programs, a couch potato’s dream but with privacy implications.

KTH, a content and commerce provider of the telecom company KT, demonstrated a TV-based commerce (t-commerce) platform on Tuesday sporting some new features.

The company combined well-established TV home shopping services with connections to online shopping malls, creating an interactive, click-to-buy temptation.

Subscribers to Olleh TV, KT’s Internet-based TV service, can buy items using their remote controls on KTH’s home shopping channel, K-Channel.

The new functions now available include personalized shopping recommendations.

By tracking the programs its subscribers are watching, KTH has categorized viewers into three groups and airs targeted advertising to each.

“For households that often tune to children’s shows and animations, we will televise sessions selling children and baby products such as diapers,” said a representative of the company. “For older people who watch dramas and news programs, we can air a session promoting nutritional supplements and medical equipment.”

The company said the categories of viewers will be refined in the future.

It also demonstrated the platform’s integrated payment system called Olleh TV Pay.

The payment system is similar to that of Amazon and Alibaba. A viewer first enters credit or debit card information manually; the card information is protected by a password.

KTH also used the media demonstration to tease an upcoming feature in collaboration with KBSN, a subsidiary of KBS that operates five cable channels that feature sports, drama and show business personalities. That service will allow shoppers to buy items featured on programs of the broadcasting network, an advanced form of product placement in the media.

The company said that it is holding talks with KBSN to arrange the details of the partnership, which it said would probably be available in the second half of this year.

Such interactive, TV-based commerce is being hailed by marketers as a more seamless shopping method than an ordinary home shopping channel.

The Korea TV Commerce Association, a trade association, said last year’s t-commerce market was estimated at 79 billion won ($68 million), but is expected to triple to about 250 billion won this year and explode again to 700 billion won next year.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]
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