Home shopping

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Home shopping is the electronic retailing and home shopping channels industry, which includes such billion dollar television-based and e-commerce companies as Shop LC, HSN, Gemporia, TJC, QVC, eBay, ShopHQ, Buy.com 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 study shows that home shopping are continuously preferred by the customers especially for those teleworkers and busy working class.[1]


The possibility for merchants to show their goods through the world was the first usage of the "electroscope" (some kind of television apparatus) imagined by the author of the hoax published in the New York Sun, 30 March 1877.[2] The first such attempt at broadcasting shopping news occurred on February 1, 1927 with the establishment of WASN radio in Boston; owned by John Shepard III, WASN boasted reports from fifteen different department stores in Greater Boston every two hours, mixed with pre-recorded and live orchestra music.[3][4] Due to technical issues, the format was dropped after five months, and the station eventually merged operations into co-owned WNAC, today known as WBIX.[5][6][7] The first experiments at broadcasting home shopping on television occurred in the UK as early as 1934.[8][9]

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.[citation needed] (The story is disputed; there is some record of Paxson having unsuccessfully tried a similar format in 1969 on one of his earlier TV stations, WNYP in Jamestown, New York.)[10]

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.[citation needed] And Jewelry Television is the largest gemstone retailer in the world.

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 over 200 billion dollars annually.[11]

In Europe, more than 150 home shopping channels were identified in activity in February 2018 by the European Audiovisual Observatory.[12]

Direct response[edit]

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.[citation needed] Direct marketing is a marketing where buyers will give direct response to the sellers and seller will immediately take an order.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Gould, Jane; Golob, Thomas F. (October 1997). "Shopping without travel or travel without shopping? an investigation of electronic home shopping". Transport Reviews. 17 (4): 355–376. doi:10.1080/01441649708716991. ISSN 0144-1647. S2CID 166945471.
  2. ^ [1] "The Electroscope", The New York Sun, 30 March 1877.
  3. ^ "New Station Will Take Air Tomorrow." Boston Herald, January 30, 1927, p. 6A.
  4. ^ "WASN, Boston's New Radio Station, Opened". The Boston Globe. February 1, 1927. p. 25. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  5. ^ Halper, Donna (2015). Invisible Stars: A Social History of Women in American Broadcasting. New York: Routledge. p. 39. ISBN 978-1317520184.
  6. ^ "Broadcast History - Boston Broadcasting". www.oldradio.com. Retrieved 2019-12-09.
  7. ^ "FCC History Cards for WEZE".
  8. ^ [2] "La télévision permet d'acheter à distance", Le Monde illustré, 17 novembre 1934
  9. ^ [3] "To Get Style Views as Well As News", Flesherton Advance, 24 Oct 1934
  10. ^ Fybush, Scott (January 12, 2015). Salary Controversy Ousts Public TV Exec. NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved January 12, 2015.
  11. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-11-27. Retrieved 2021-01-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ [4] MAVISE database, European Audiovisual Observatory, retrieved 20 February 2018