HGTV and Food Network’s New Amazon TV Apps Let You Shop With Your Remote

Couch-potato commerce

Good news, Lazybones. If you have electronics and lawn care products to buy this weekend, you might not need to get off your living room sofa.

HGTV and Food Network today are announcing apps for Amazon Fire TV users that let them watch original home and lifestyle programs while also shopping for products related to the shows. 

Each of the cable channels' four apps has a launch advertiser. LG is sponsoring HGTV's Smart Solutions app; 3M is sponsoring the Home Improvement app; and Scotts Miracle-Gro signed on for the Gardening app. For Food Network's Summer Entertaining app, Bose picked up the sponsorship.

The apps let viewers browse products in a small window on their TV screens without interrupting the videos. Amazon Fire viewers can tap the "view all products" icon on the screen to see product details, select their shipping preference and buy the items they want. Amazon Prime members can log in to their Fire TV accounts and get gratis shipping. 

When viewers buy from the TV apps, the transaction runs through Amazon's system just like it would if the purchase occurred on its website. Then, the e-commerce giant takes a sales cut, while LG, 3M, Scotts-Miracle-Grow or Bose keep the rest of the cash. 

The four apps are available for free download through August, when the two cable television brands—owned by Scripps Networks Interactive—will take stock in how successful they are. Theoretically, if the experiment shows promise, more original content will be created.

The development also underscores Amazon's continued quest to allow its customers to buy stuff through channels other than desktops, laptops and smartphones. 

For instance, more and more retailers are signing up for Amazon Dash Replenishment, a 9-month-old program that automates purchases. For instance, GE's washers that use "smart dispense technology" can automatically order detergent when owners are running low on their go-to brands. And then there's Amazon Echo, a 16-month-old speaker system with voice-control technology that lets folks order goods just by talking into the device. 

In short, Amazon wants every device possible to be an e-commerce channel.

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