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Home shopping is the electronic retailing and home shopping channels industry, which includes such billion dollar television-based and e-commerce companies as Liquidation Channel, HSN, QVC, eBay, ShopHQ, Buy.com, Naaptol and Amazon.com, as well as traditional mail order and brick and mortar retailers as Hammacher Schlemmer and Sears, Roebuck and Co. Home shopping allows consumers to shop for goods from the privacy of their own home, as opposed to traditional shopping, which requires one to visit brick and mortar stores and shopping malls.
There are three main types of home shopping: mail or telephone ordering from catalogs; telephone ordering in response to advertisements in print and electronic media (such as periodicals, TV and radio); and online shopping.
The home shopping/electronic retailing industry was created in 1977, when small market talk radio show host Bob Circosta was asked to sell avocado-green-colored can openers live on the air by station owner Bud Paxson, when an advertiser traded 112 units of product instead of paying his advertising bill. Hesitant at first, Circosta reluctantly obliged – and to both men's great surprise, all 112 can openers sold out within the hour. Paxson sensed the vast sales potential of home-based commerce, and founded the world's first shopping channel on cable television, later launching nationwide with the Home Shopping Network (rebranded as HSN). Bob Circosta was America's first ever TV home shopping host,becoming one of the most instantly recognizable salesmen in the United States. Over the next three decades, Circosta sold over 75,000 different products on HSN, netted over 20,000 hours of live, on-air TV selling, and achieved personal product sales in excess of one billion dollars. The classic television-based home shopping industry quickly became a major player in the retail industry. The two most successful shopping channels – HSN and QVC – generate a combined total of over 10 billion dollars in sales every year. And Jewelry Television is the largest gemstone retailer in the world.  Nigeria joins the league with the start of MoneyMart TV, Nigeria's first largest multi-retailer teleshopping mall broadcasting 24hours on satellite and terrestrial on AIT network, powered by Innovative Strategy International Limited owned by Will Dokpesi.
Amazon.com began as an online bookstore in 1994, created by Wall Street computer scientist Jeff Bezos. In addition to books, Amazon eventually added video games, computer software, electronics, apparel, and more to its sales repertoire. The company now generates approximately eight-and-a-half billion dollars annually.
Direct-response marketing is often considered to be a part of the home shopping/electronic retailing industry. The Electronic Retailing Association, when totaling the combined revenues from all the home shopping companies, estimates that in 2005, the industry generated over 320 billion dollars.
- "Can You Believe This Price?" Time Magazine
- Jeffrey Preston Bezos Time Magazine
- Bob Circosta Interview about the Home Shopping Industry Media Talk
- It started with 112 can openers St. Petersburg Times