AROUND SEVEN PER CENT of Sky Digital subscribers have already shopped via Open, the interactive TV retail channel, according to market research company BMRB.

In all, some 280,000 Open viewers have succumbed to the lure of armchair shopping via their TV sets, tak-ing the plunge within two months of becoming a digital subscriber. BMRB contrasts this ready acceptance of the new retail medium with Britons’ cautious attitude to internet shopping, where buyers waited at least six months before testing the waters of cyber-retailing. It took Open viewers one third of that time - just two months - before taking a similar plunge.

The report’s author, Paul Milsom, believes that consumers are less nervous about credit card and other types of fraud when buying via their TV sets. He estimates that interactive TV sales in 2000 will grow faster than on the internet, citing the fact that one-third of all Sky Digital viewers say they intend to make an interactive purchase within the next twelve months.