Connekt joins with Sony for TV-enabled commerce

Dive Brief:

  • Connekt has formed a partnership with Sony Electronics to allow the use of Connekt's T-Commerce platform on their Smart TVs and Blu-ray disc players, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
  • Sony Smart TV viewers will be able to use Connekt's ShopTV application to securely buy products from retailers like Macy's, Best Buy and Fanatics. ShopTV is optimized for connected home environments, the company said. Connekt also has partnerships with many other electronics companies, retailers and media outlets including LG, Target, Amazon and HBO, according to its website.
  • Initially, viewers will shop directly from ShopTV's application which they can find in Sony's smart TV app store, said the press release. Eventually this capability will be extended to in-program purchasing, and then later, voice-driven commerce.

Dive Insight:

The convergence of smart homes, shopping from TV screens and voice commerce is getting closer. With Connekt's T-Commerce platform and devices like Amazon's Fire TV Cube, Echo Show and new Google products, consumers may soon be interacting with retailers' videos while making purchases.

The partnership between Sony Electronics and Connekt will speed this along. Sony has a 44% market share for premium TVs, while Samsung and LG dominate the lower price ranges, reported the Yonhap News Agency. The Connekt T-Commerce platform patent uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to allow viewers to engage and then checkout with retailers and brands seamlessly and securely, said the company's website. It combines consumer profiles with registration services that are pre-existing.

Connekt's research found that over 75% of shoppers would purchase items directly from the TV if given the chance, and 70% were interested in buying products by voice through the television, according to the press release. The company's ShopTV application strives for convergence of television, advertising and commerce by offering over-the-top (OTT) streaming video, apps and brand channel opportunities for the creation of interactive advertising experiences for TV viewers. This technology delivers overlay ads that relate to content appearing on a TV screen and then allows consumers to make an immediate purchase, explained Video Ad News.

"Our partnership with Connekt allows us to offer owners of Sony Smart TVs the ability to engage and shop directly from the biggest screen in their home," said Nick Colsey, VP, business development, in the press release.

Seventy-two percent of consumers prefer video to text for receiving branded marketing information, according to a HubSpot Research study. Shoppable video technology has been recognized as a powerful marketing tool for product and retail brands, and investment in the production of digital videos totaled $135 billion last year, reported video production firm Magisto.

A marker for the advancement of combined TV and voice commerce was the release of the Amazon Fire TV Cube in June. The Alexa-enabled product is a potent commercial tool for Amazon's entertainment offerings. Insofar as it ties into Amazon Echo devices and the various connected home products the company offers, the Fire TV Cube may entice more shoppers to buy those technologies. Amazon will compete with the Google Home line of smart display devices. Google will offer YouTube and YouTube TV on these units, while Amazon pulled those channels from Amazon video services.

A Capgemini survey predicted that 40% of consumers will use a voice assistant as an alternative to a mobile app or website within three years, and 35% have purchased products from the devices. Another study by OC&C Strategy Consultants reported that voice shopping will increase to $40 billion in 2022 from $2 billion today.

While a report by Voicbot.ai and voice platform developer Voysis acknowledged initial skepticism about consumer use of voice commerce, it is starting to gain momentum. Twenty-six percent of the owners of smart speakers reported that they have made a purchase by voice, and voice shopping on smart speakers has become a habit for 16% who said they make purchases monthly. Adjusted for the total population, 21% have tried voice commerce, according to the report.