Roku and Walmart want to make TV streaming an online shopping destination

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In short: “Always close.” That’s apparently the motto behind Roku’s latest advertising partnership with Walmart to turn its streaming platform into an online shopping destination. The duo’s new pilot program seeks to merge entertainment with the world of commerce and enable purchases “directly at the moment of inspiration”.

It will use Roku’s expertise in the streaming ad space — namely targeting, optimization, and measurement — to deliver buyable ads during commercial breaks.

To interact with an ad, just click “OK” to enter the product page. Payment details are auto-filled from Roku Pay, the company’s purpose-built payment platform. Users can view additional product photos or simply click “OK” again to complete the order.

A Walmart Purchase Confirmation will be sent to your registered email address with shipping, return, and support information.

Roku said its ad buying platform, OneView, will have the ability to enable and measure buyable ads.

“We strive to connect with customers where they already spend time, shortening the distance between discovery and inspiration and purchase,” said William White, chief marketing officer at Walmart. “No one has cracked the code for the opportunity to buy so far,” he added.

Shopping from your TV isn’t exactly a new concept. Shopping channels such as QVC and direct-to-consumer, 1-800 advertisements have been around for decades. More recently, buyable live streams from companies like Amazon, eBay and Whatnot have started to take off.

Roku said future iterations of the pilot will look for opportunities to create even deeper commerce experiences to meet consumers where they are.

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