The connected TV technology firm Connekt has signed a deal with Sony to bring T-commerce functionality to the company’s lineup of TV sets and Blu-Ray players.
At launch, Connekt’s ShopTV app, available through Sony’s app store, allows consumers to shop for clothing, electronics or other products through their TV or Blu-Ray player. Over time, the companies plan to add in-program purchasing. Buying a product as it appears onscreen, or during a commercial, as well as voice-controlled buying.
“Shoppability is critically important, and it is the low-hanging fruit when you think of being able to drive interactivity off of the screen,” Mike O’Donnell, Connekt’s CRO, tells Digital News Daily.
“It can sit with localization and it can sit with personalization. Dynamic ads bring new monetization opportunities by being able to deliver personalized messages to those consumers, and also able to localize them. That is not as seamless in a linear TV experience as it is in the digital world," he adds.
For smart TV makers and the makers of connected TV devices, the promise of T-commerce is significant. As competition drives the prices of hardware down, the need to find other ways to monetize increases.
“To be able to, as an OEM, to take a leading position in T-commerce, is valuable to them,” says Tripp Boyle, Connekt’s senior vice president, business development.
T-commerce is also becoming a focal point for retailers, which are looking to drive digital growth in a world where Amazon is dominant.
"A big part of our initiative is educating the marketplace, helping these brands take the first steps into the world of T-commerce,” Boyle says. “We are helping bridge the gap between what they are doing to make television smarter in TV content, and linking it back to the significant investment brands make in traditional television.”
“The message to a lot of these retailers: Don’t lose your space on the screen to the big guy,” Boyle says.