Retail giant Walmart and streaming tech lead Roku are joining forces to bring e-commerce to TV screens across the nation. In a bid to make shopping even easier than before, the concept may change the way that people interact with commercial content.
Using interactive commercials, Walmart hopes to connect with its customers through Roku devices, allowing them to make purchases the moment inspiration hits. Streamlining the process would allow shoppers to purchase Walmart products directly from the Roku streaming platform, with checkout information and delivery details arriving via email shortly after clicking “OK” on their remote controls.
William White, chief marketing officer at Walmart, feels that this is the best way to break into the video e-commerce market, an area where retail industries have struggled to make a real impact. Roku’s head of TV commerce, Peter Hamilton, had his own take on the team-up, believing that the seamless way that consumers sign up for subscription services on Roku devices should transition well to physical shopping through online stores.
“We’re making shopping on TV as easy as it is on social,” he said. “For years, streamers have purchased new Roku devices and signed up for millions of subscriptions with their Roku remote. Streaming commerce brings that same ease and convenience to marketers and shoppers.”
Utilizing Roku’s already-established buying platform called One View, the company will have the exclusive ability to evaluate TV shopping ads and determine if they are viable for this kind of e-commerce. Roku Brand Studio puts the power in marketers’ hands to design unique content designed specifically for shopping and streaming.
Walmart is known industry-wide for being able to understand its customers and scale its commercial platform to take advantage of shopping trends. Shifting this concept to video-related commerce will bring its stores to the largest screens in the house. Fusing entertainment with e-commerce is designed to seamlessly merge the shopping and viewing experiences for Roku audiences.
As the technology develops, it will be interesting to see how other companies lean into the commercial video experience. Amazon Prime Video, while not offering ad support at this time, is already linked directly with their virtual purchasing platform. It would seem like the next logical step would be to merge its video and shopping experiences to create a similar style of interactive ads.
Both Prime Video and Peacock have begun experimenting with unique ways to integrate advertising into content, so it is only a matter of time until all smart-TV ads become interactive.
The joint venture had a big impact on Roku stock, driving shares up 4% to $3.35 apiece during after-market trading following the announcement.