TV beats PC for home shopping

Consumers feel more comfortable with the TV -- and it's less likely to crash.

UK consumers would favour the television over the PC for home shopping services, according to the Pace Report on interactive television.

The survey of 1004 consumers, carried out by Gallop, found that 42 percent would feel more comfortable using interactive television for home shopping, compared to the 26 percent who said they would rather use a PC. Consumer confidence in using interactive services for home shopping was shown by the fact that only 25 percent of those surveyed said that they would use neither method to purchase goods. In the 1998 Pace Report 71 percent of respondents said that shopping via interactive television was of "no interest at all".

The reason why consumers express such a preference for shopping via the television, according to Andrew Wallace, marketing director of Pace, is that they are used to the television and feel comfortable with it. "User friendliness is the main factor, everyone is used to TV," said Wallace. "Plus, no one expects their TV to crash, it's much less hassle."

Suprisingly, among the 16-24 year old group -- those that have grown up with PCs at home and at school -- 65 percent said that they would prefer to use interactive television for home shopping.

However the survey found that for services such as email and Internet access 52 percent would feel happier using a PC than interactive television. Only 21 percent would prefer to use a television for such services.

"The Internet is optimised for the PC," said Wallace, "Email access will become as least as popular on the TV as the PC, but I believe the two devices will co-exist, with PCs being used for Web access."

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