StarTimes announces an e-commerce venture allowing customers to shop from their TVs

StarTimes Kenya, a pay-TV television provider has today announced the introduction of an interactive online shopping platform named StarTimes GO. The platform, the company says, will offer the public access to an enhanced shopping experience through integrated services available via television, online and through calls.

The whole idea seems kinda fuzzy right now from the explanation shared by the company in the press release. But a quick way to explain it is that the new platform StarTimes GO will be accessible through the company’s streaming platform called StarTimes ON. So ideally, while you watch stuff from StarTimes ON, you will see things from StarTimes GO to buy.

But that’s not all, StarTimes GO will also be available on normal set-top boxes through REMBO, BORDER, or TRIPPLE P channels as 15 Minute programs. Customers will be able to select, order, and pay for different products through the available electronic wallet options that include KCB Bank, Equitel, Co-operative, M-Pesa, or Airtel Money.

I think this will be the first of its kind online shopping procedure in Kenya. Imagine buying stuff from the TV. I can’t wait to see how it works and write something more in-depth on whether it could take off, or if it just sounds fancy as an idea. The questions I already have include details on numbers: how many people watch these channels? how many people stream through StarTimes ON? And how easy is the process?

Anyways, the company is starting out slow with this new platform. As it rolls out, the company will only allow customers to buy things like television sets, solar panel systems, and set-top boxes first. They will then expand to other product categories as time progresses, or as demand increases. So one can say, StarTimes has plans to make TV online shopping real, but first, since getting partners and stuff isn’t easy, they want to sell their own products which include TVs and Solar Panels… I guess?

StarTimes also explains that the platform will equally enable customers to directly call in and make direct orders through 0719077111 for television sets and set top boxes or 0719077777 for solar power systems where, upon payment confirmation, delivery will be done within 48 hours. This will run parallel to the online/TV system.

While shopping on StarTimes Go, customers will also have the option to pay a deposit based on the total product cost with the balance cleared upon receipt of their preferred product. Installation and activation will then be done by accredited technical personnel.

Speaking on this latest development, StarTimes Regional Marketing Director Mr. Aldrine Nsubuga noted that the broadcaster has progressively put significant emphasis in its research and development key in understanding the customers demand for convenient solutions aimed at spending less time but achieving more.

“This is a strategic new line of business for us in our effort to enable customer’s access products conveniently across Kenya. StarTimes Go is our innovative solution aimed at making it possible to shop securely through our StarTimes ON online platform as well as sales broadcasts on Rembo, Border and Tripple P channels where customers will be in a position to familiarize themselves with the different products, select and pay at ease,” noted Mr. Nsubuga.

I can’t wait to see how this whole StarTimes GO idea eventually plays out. It seems pretty exciting as an idea, but will it work? What happens when the categories of things increases? Will there be dedicated channels where one can see all the different goods and buy them? How well and easy is the selection process? There are so many questions to ask. Let’s wait for the rollout to see how exactly things work. What are your thoughts?

1 COMMENT

  1. GBS TV used to have this kind of service when they launched in Kenya, but I’m not sure if they still have it.

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