Mintel reveals low home-shopping interest

TV viewers are still not interested in home shopping, according to new research from Mintel.

Sixty-eight per cent of adults questioned in a report on the development of interactive TV (iTV) have a highly negative view, which Mintel blames on ignorance of the technology. Respondents do not want to connect their telephone to a digital TV to provide a link with retailers.

Of the 26 per cent of the sample that do want interactivity, the response rates were skewed in favour of younger, pre-family adults, ABC1s and better-off families, which Mintel believes will make up the second take-up wave of digital TV. Early digital adopters are more interested in having greater channel choice than home shopping.

Thirty-five per cent of people ranked choosing a holiday as the top rated service, making it the most likely to be taken up by iTV, followed by cinema and theatre tickets, CDs and videos, books, clothes, and food and drink.

Cheaper prices was the most frequently mentioned motive for buying through electronic channels (24 per cent), although a large proportion of the ABC1 group was worried about payment security.

Mintel anticipates take-up rates will speed up now that ONdigital and SkyDigital are giving away free set-top boxes. The research company predicts the TV shopping market will grow from about &£200m in 1998 to more than &£550m by 2002.

For the foreseeable future, Mintel expects Internet and TV-based technologies to remain quite distinct strands for retailers to develop, because early digital TV adopters tend to be less affluent families, while better-off families are more likely to have a computer.

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