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AI Brings Shoppable TV to Your Screen

Holly Allen
Holly Allen
BY: Holly Allen ON February 24, 2023

Have you ever seen a product on a TV show that you just had to have, but you couldn’t find it online? Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), that problem will become a thing of the past.

Yes, we’ve seen the use of QR codes in television ads that allow consumers a simple way to scan and shop from one screen to the next, but technology is on the cusp of a more immersive experience that will allow viewers to shop the items they see their favorite characters interacting with on their favorite shows.

The Details:

  • Shopping At Your Fingertips: Media companies are betting on AI technology that can identify products on screen and make them – or similar products – available at checkout on a viewer’s mobile device with a few taps. In some cases, viewers will be able to make a purchase on their TVs without having to enter credit card and shipping information.

  • Networks Eye Reality TV: NBCUniversal announced in February 2023 it would roll out Shoppable TV on streaming service Peacock this year. It sees potential initially in lifestyle shows aired specifically on Bravo, which is where the media giant plans to first enable the technology. Imagine watching a Real Housewives franchise series and being able to immediately purchase the home goods and fashion pieces you see on screen!

  • Streaming Service Pilots Partnerships: Roku will allow viewers to shop via their TV screens through a new partnership with Walmart. Roku and DoorDash are also piloting a program that would offer viewers a discount when they order food via shoppable TV commercials.

  • Advertiser Value: The cost structure explored initially by NBCU is disrupting the way traditional media buys typically work. Instead of paying for placement, NBCU will enter into an agreement with advertisers to receive a portion of sales generated from the advertisement. This puts the focus on the lower end of the marketing funnel, resulting in payment for conversions, similar to digital ad placements.

Why it Matters:

The advancement of Shoppable TV technology opens new doors for advertisers that could prove to be very effective, but it’s likely not appropriate for all brands. While networks like NBCU are targeting reality shows first, Shoppable TV advertising will be best suited for fashion, home goods, beauty products, and others that tap into the viewer’s desire for luxury. But it doesn’t mean advertisers outside of these industries should ignore the technology, as it will evolve with time.

According to Roku’s research, television streamers are 5-times more likely to push a button on their remotes to make a purchase than they are to scan a QR code. With that statistic in hand, advertisers can be assured that Shoppable TV is greatly reducing conversion friction for consumers.

The Bottom Line:

If you’re interested in how these tools, or other digital media tactics like paid search marketing, targeted display advertising, or paid social media content might benefit your brand, drop us a note.

Our digital team is always happy to help you make sense of the ever-evolving digital landscape. We can create a marketing plan that will help you connect with customers in new and meaningful ways.

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