Advanced Tech Expands TV eCommerce Horizons

family watching TV

Gone are the days when watching TV was simply a passive pastime, a one-way street where viewers absorbed content without any direct interaction. In today’s digital age, the television screen has become a gateway to a world of commerce possibilities, ushering in the era of TV eCommerce.

For advertisers, this convergence of entertainment and commerce presents a significant opportunity to engage with consumers in a more dynamic and immersive manner, fostering loyalty and ultimately boosting sales.

Among the media companies driving this transformation is NBCUniversal, which recently unveiled a suite of innovative features designed to transform television advertising and propel performance marketing into the future. With the Paris Summer Olympics slated to kick off on July 26, these advancements are strategically timed to capitalize on the heightened viewership and engagement surrounding this global sporting event.

Among these features is the rollout of a new commerce-led ad innovation across the portfolio called Virtual Concessions. This will allow sporting event viewers, or those settling in for a movie marathon, to purchase food, beverages and other items from their TV to be delivered to their doorstep. The capability is set to officially launch during the Olympic and Paralympic Games presentation.

In addition, NBCUniversal’s artificial intelligence (AI)-powered Must ShopTV ad initiative is broadening its reach to include six franchises within NBCUniversal’s Peacock portfolio, enabling brands to engage with fans in real-time as they make purchases.

Furthermore, the media company is piloting an interactive, shoppable integration with NBCUniversal Checkout on Xfinity’s X1 entertainment platform on episodes throughout the 21st season of Bravo’s “Top Chef,” in collaboration with Comcast. This partnership enables viewers to use their remote to browse products linked to the show, further enhancing audience engagement, brand affinity and performance marketing.

“Television today is a full-funnel performance vehicle where marketers can launch, build and grow their brands across any screen at scale,” Mark Marshall, chairman of Global Advertising and Partnerships at NBCUniversal, said in a March press release, adding that the company will continue to partner “with marketers of all sizes to use technology to move their businesses forward.”

The company is also set to introduce One Platform Total Measurement, a new framework that combines viewership insights and outcome-based metrics to support its cross-platform planning and activation technology, One Platform Total Audience. “By automating, unifying, and lowering the walled gardens of measurement, marketers will have greater access to insights — from delivery to performance — that both count and prove their impact throughout every layer of the purchase funnel,” the release said.

Aiming to enhance viewer engagement, NBCUniversal launched personalized TV broadcasts on its NBC and Telemundo stations in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Philadelphia earlier this month. Leveraging NextGen TV technology, the offering integrates advertising with data tracking to provide near real-time audience metrics, enhancing ad relevance and effectiveness compared to traditional linear TV.

According to Shawn Makhijani, SVP of Business Development and Strategy and NBC Spot On, NBCUniversal Advertising and Partnerships, “the launch of this innovative experience is a considerable milestone for broadcast television and demonstrates the immense potential and possibilities NextGen TV has for viewers, programmers, stations and advertisers.”

The traditional advertising model is undergoing a transformation, with advancements in technology changing the game and enabling more interactive and personalized experiences for viewers.

Viewers can expect further advancements in technology and audience engagement strategies to continue reshaping the TV eCommerce landscape.