Amazon, Walmart turn to shoppable TV ads to shorten the path to purchase

The trend: Shoppable TV ads are gaining momentum this holiday season as retailers look for ways to connect with consumers and shorten the time between inspiration and purchase.

  • Walmart is partnering with Peacock to offer AI-powered, interactive shoppable ads during three upcoming episodes of “Below Deck Mediterranean.”
  • Viewers watching Amazon’s coverage of the first-ever Black Friday NFL game will be able to buy products from brands including TCL and Dyson without navigating away from the action.
  • Home Depot and Vizio are teaming up for a holiday-themed shoppable content series where viewers interested in featured products will be able to scan QR codes that bring them to listings on the retailer’s site.

The opportunity: While live shopping struggles to gain traction stateside due to limited viewer interest, shoppable TV ads enable brands to reach users where they’re already watching and engaged.

  • “We know some of our customers’ most loved TV shows right now are on Bravo,” Walmart CMO William White said in a statement, adding that the partnership with NBCUniversal allows customers to “quickly purchase items inspired by their favorite cast members while they’re watching.”
  • Over one-quarter of smart TV viewers actively shop online or via mobile while watching TV, while 28% look for products after seeing them appear on the small screen, per a survey conducted by Samsung Ads and Kerv Interactive.
  • And more shoppers are looking to streaming ads for holiday shopping inspiration this year: One in five consumers plans to use their smart TVs or other HDMI streaming devices to purchase products or services this holiday season, a survey by LG Ad Solutions found.

The interactive element: So far, shoppable TV ads are proving to be an effective way of cutting through the noise and grabbing viewers’ attention.

  • Samsung Ads’ survey found that 55% of smart TV viewers remember seeing a shoppable ad, while 50% have interacted with one.
  • The ability to interact with shoppable TV ads is also fueling engagement: Amazon found that interactive video ads with a remote clickable overlay garner nearly 20 times more interactions and are more effective at getting shoppers to landing pages than ads with QR codes, Danielle Carney, the company’s head of NFL ads, told AdWeek.
  • Likewise, Walmart said that clickthrough rates for campaigns using Roku’s shoppable ad format were at least three times higher than for average video campaigns run through its DSP.

The big takeaway: The difference between live shopping and shoppable TV is that the former requires a significant shift in the way users—particularly in the US—consume content in order to be successful, whereas the latter allows retailers and brands to meet consumers where they are.

  • That, along with recent technological advances that make shoppable TV possible, is why Evan Moore, NBCU’s senior vice president of commerce partnerships, expects that buying from a TV screen will be a ubiquitous experience within three to five years.
  • That prediction may well come to pass, given the format’s ability to satisfy consumers’ desires for immediate gratification without interrupting the viewing experience, as well as its ability to drive awareness and sales.

First Published on Nov 7, 2023

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