Apple TV – a new ecommerce channel

October 28, 2015

In September, Apple launched the latest version of its Apple TV set-top box, with an innovative new feature that could open serious opportunities for savvy e-commerce businesses – shopping.

Now, Apple TV users can buy products directly from the platform, using the remote control. In this post, we take a look at the news, and what it means for ecommerce as a whole.

A new world of TV Ecommerce 

There’s nothing new about TV shopping, and you could be forgiven for thinking that this isn’t particularly ground-breaking news – but properly integrating ecommerce into the traditional TV experience is a big step.

Traditionally, shopping channels have required viewers to call in or go to a dedicated website or app to order. What Apple TV does is remove this step, enabling customers to buy directly from their remote control, through a dedicated account creating a new kind of convenient, big screen ecommerce platform that savvy retailers can benefit from.

In the process, Apple is making moves to compete with other, more mature platforms like Google and Amazon – and it’s a big departure for a company that’s traditionally relied on it’s own retail products to drive profitability.

Is there space for another channel? 

With so many different channels for online retailers to explore, it’s fair to ask the question of whether there is space for another kind of marketplace.

It’s becoming more and more competitive, and Apple will need to prove to retailers that it is worth risking already thinly spread marketing budgets on a new shopping concept – especially when competing against established players.

However, it’s hard to bet on a company with Apple’s pedigree that’s just had its best year ever, and is consistently breaking its own sales records!

The Apple advantage 

Whilst more mature social media and ecommerce platforms might have a good head-start with online retailers, Apple has one big advantage.

It already has a big user-base, fierce consumer loyalty, and its devices already provide a significant proportion of traffic to ecommerce sites.

If it can harness this fan-base and manage to get them to engage with its new marketplace, there’s a good chance that shopping on Apple TV could become the next big thing in ecommerce.

For that to happen, Apple will have to demonstrate that its platform provides real value for retailers and a shopping experience that customers actually want. Only time will tell whether it’s going to be a success, or go the way of the Apple watch…

Luke Hodgson

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