About 76% of consumers would be interested in purchasing merchandise through their connected TVs, and about 42% plan to do so during the next year, engaging in a practice coming to be known as "t-commerce," according to a survey from Connekt, a company that enables targeted TV advertising for brands.
The survey of 320 consumers found that about 65% would buy items through their TVs that they saw highlighted in TV ads, while 35% said they would be most inclined to buy items they saw featured in TV shows.
The merchandise that t-commerce shoppers would be most likely to buy includes household goods, electronics and apparel, while items they would be least likely to buy are movie tickets and sporting goods.
T-commerce is actually something consumers can already engage in, to some extent, if they own a smart TV. Such Internet-connected TVs have allowed a degree of app-based or online purchasing via the TV remote, and TV-enhancing platforms like Amazon's Fire TV and Apple TV have become better at enabling product purchases through their platforms.
The notion that many people are interested in shopping through their TVs is something that should excite smart TV makers and the retailers, brands, marketers and others that would look to sell a wide range of products through the platform. But the lack of awareness is troubling, and it's a major hurdle.
For example, 78% of respondents from the Connekt survey said they're not familiar with technology that allows them to use their TV remote control device to shop through their connected TVs. TV makers need to promote that capability more aggressively, but brands and marketers also need to take a role in guiding consumers along the t-commerce path to purchase by communicating more directly with their customers about it.
T-commerce has been emerging as a concept for some time now, and the practice will only become more common as consumers buy more connected TVs — there are expected to be 260 million installed by 2020, according to the Connekt press release — and retailers and brands become more confident in TV as a medium for sales.
Most consumers who are buying via t-commerce like the convenience and the ability to impulse-buy, according to the study. Connekt found that 74% of respondents liked the ability to shop through their TVs because of the convenience factor, while 66% liked it for the ability to buy a product right when they see it on TV.
"TV remains [the] most prolific way for brands to reach consumers, and smarter TVs mean smarter advertising where brands can move consumers from awareness to a transaction without ever leaving their TVs," Tripp Boyle, senior vice president of Connekt, said in a statement.
Somebody out there is sitting at home watching TV and shopping at the same time, and for retailers, it might be the time to tell the rest how they can, too.