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M&S has become the first UK retailer to launch an app for Samsung’s connected TV range.

The app will showcase products ranges but has no transactional capability, though a spokesman for Samsung said that an e-commerce function may be added in future.

The current selection of Samsung Smart TV apps is very much entertainment focused – BBC iPlayer, LoveFilm, Netflix and YouTube have all launched apps as they jostle for supremacy within the connected TV market.

Samsung says more than 10m app have been downloaded from its TV app store.

Other apps available include brands such as Facebook, Twitter, Teletext Holidays, Rightmove and Thomson Local.

M&S says the app is to enable customers to discover its products while supporting broader marketing channels, but since viewers can’t actually buy anything yet, this does raise questions about its value.

Viewers can access tips on fashion, lifestyle, food and technology that will all link back to M&S products - which doesn't sound like much of a trade-off for downloading the app.

Without providing viewers with a tangible service it is unlikely that the app will appeal to anyone who doesn’t already shop regularly at M&S.

So while it may go some way to strengthening brand appeal among its shoppers that own one of Samsung's connected TV sets, this may be a case of launching something simply to keep up with technology and without stopping to question what the business stands to gain.

David Moth

Published 2 February, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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