Shopping directly from TV ads could become the future of e-commerce

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A new deal aims to make shopping directly from TV ‘as easy as it is on social’, with plans to build ‘deeper commercial experiences’ in future iterations.

A new partnership between retail giant Walmart and streaming player Roku could lead to a new frontier in e-commerce, letting people buy products directly from adverts they see on their TV.

In a pilot programme, viewers who are streaming TV programmes will be able to press ‘OK’ on their remote when they see shoppable ads on Roku’s platform.

Future Human

They will then be taken to a Walmart checkout page where they can confirm the purchase of the item from the ad with their remote. A Walmart purchase confirmation is then emailed with shipping, return and support information.

The success of this pilot could lead to more developments being created in the future.

“No one has cracked the code around video shoppability,” Walmart CMO William White said. “By working with Roku, we’re the first-to-market retailer to bring customers a new shoppable experience and seamless checkout on the largest screen in their homes – their TV.

“We’re working to connect with customers where they are already spending time, shortening the distance from discovery and inspiration to purchase,” White added.

The payment details are handled by Roku Pay, the company’s payments platform. Roku also said marketers will be able to use its Brand Studio service to design content built for TV streaming and shopping.

The deal could lead to other companies jumping in on a new form of e-commerce. The two US companies said future iterations of their pilot will look for opportunities to build “deeper commerce experiences”.

Roku’s head of TV commerce, Peter Hamilton, said the company wants to make shopping on TV “as easy as it is on social”.

“For years, streamers have purchased new Roku devices and signed up for millions of subscriptions with their Roku remote,” Hamilton said. “Streaming commerce brings that same ease and convenience to marketers and shoppers.”

Online shopping has grown rapidly in recent years, with global e-commerce gaining a boost from the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Statista, e-commerce sales are predicted to reach $5.4trn by the end of the 2022.

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