April 4, 2013, 1:54 PM

Online retailer Newegg makes its TV debut

The electronics retailer has released a shopping app for Google-connected TVs.

Lead Photo

An image of the Newegg for Google TV app, with Newegg's mobile app working as the remote.

Electronics retailer Newegg Inc. has released a shopping app for smart TVs that run software from search engine giant Google Inc. The app also syncs up with the retailer’s Android mobile app, allowing consumers to pick up on their smartphones where they left off on their TVs, or vice versa, Newegg says.

“By making Newegg.com available to shoppers on multiple platforms, we hope to make the shopping experience as easy and convenient as possible,” says James Wu, chief technology officer and acting chief operating officer of Newegg. “We hope that our Google TV app will attract new customers as well as retain current customers who may prefer to shop via their TV.”

The software a consumer needs to run the app, Google TV, is available on select LG Smart TVs and on other TVs through a few types of “buddy boxes,” which are devices similar to a cable TV box that are used for streaming Internet content. Called “Newegg for Google TV,” the app is free to download from the Google Play store. Consumers navigate it using the directional buttons on their remote controls, which moves a cursor around the screen, Wu says. Or, if they have the corresponding Android app, they can connect the two apps and use their smartphones as a remote, with similar buttons appearing on the touchscreen.

“Shopping from a TV allows for more sharing and interaction with other people in the room as opposed to shopping on a mobile device, which tends to be a more private experience,” he says. Users can also watch Newegg’s YouTube channel through the app and share their activity in it on social media, Wu says.

While he declines to provide a cost for building the app, he says it took five in-house programmers about a month and a half to develop. “Newegg has always been committed to being at the forefront of technology,” he says. “With the growing popularity of smart TVs, developing apps for that platform was a natural progression for us.”

Newegg is No. 13 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide and No. 45 in the Mobile 400. It offers mobile apps for every major mobile operating system, including Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone. It also offers apps for the iPad, Android tablets and the BlackBerry Playbook tablet, Wu says.

Lee Cheng, senior vice president and chief legal offer at Newegg Inc., will share the retailer’s international e-commerce insights on June 5 at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2013 during a presentation entitled “Overseas opportunities: What all e-retailers need to know.”

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