Well, it’s finally happening albeit in dribs and drabs: E-commerce is now not only swallowing up mobile devices — it’s about to spread to television sets!
In the last few years, cloud computing and Smartphone adoption have been accelerating at dramatic rates, often fuelling each other in terms of both consumer and business requirements. Website content is either being stored on cloud platforms or traditional hosting packages, which allow visitors to purchase additional online goods through a Smartphone.
But, if any device lags these two trends, it’s TV. There has not been much innovation in this piece of technology, unless you factor in the development of flat screen TVs and 3D-TV.
However, it looks like this is about to change with news that PayPal payment service will join with Cable company Comcast and set-top box maker TiVo to allow TV viewers to donate money and buy goods from their television using a remote control. (Or, will this be using an iPhone?)
“Starting as early as this fall, viewers with PayPal accounts will be able to click on TV commercials to buy advertised goods, make donations to political campaigns and nonprofits, and ask advertisers to text information to their phones,” said Bloomberg Business Week.
And, if you will also be able to use coupons to collect discounts at Home Depot using PayPal as the conduit. This is a big deal since PayPal accounts for 20% of the global e-commerce sales of which 33% occur via a mobile phone. PayPal may process $7 billion in mobile payments alone during the course of 2012.
However, it sees TV as the next big thing.
“The average U.S. consumer watches more than 34 hours of television per week, according to Nielsen Co. PayPal found in a survey of cable subscribers that about 49 percent of them are open to the idea of making purchases through their TVs,” said Bloomberg.
PayPal is now believed to have as much as 110 million active registered accounts. It will earn cash by charging transaction fees, of which ads featured on TiVo or Comcast may earn higher fees.
TiVo told Bloomberg that working with PayPal now provides an easy way to go from ads and content directly to purchasing products on TV, bringing the effectiveness of advertising to the next level.
“Comcast has agreed to work with PayPal on TV-based commerce, according to an Internet posting today by Tony Werner, Comcast’s executive vice president and chief technology officer,” said Bloomberg.
There may come a point where websites residing on shared, dedicated and reseller hosting packages may become directly browsable via TV. At this point new e-commerce options will be available to viewers via the relationships forged between Comcast, TiVo and PayPal.