Just one week ahead of its big upfront presentation at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Comcast-owned NBCUniversal is living TV network’s long-held dream of allowing viewers to shop the shows they are watching.
Called ShoppableTV, viewers will occasionally see a QR code on their screen during shows or certain commercial breaks. They can scan that code with their phone to simply and easily buy items. NBC hasn’t totally determined the initiative’s revenue model yet, but it plans to collect fees for producing the “shoppable” moments as well as take a percentage of overall sales revenues.
Networks owned by NBCU including NBC, NBC Sports, Telemundo, E!, CNBC Prime and USA all are participating in ShoppableTV over the next months.
NBCU has been testing this concept recently. In March, it launched Shop with Golf on the Golf Channel, allowing consumers to interact directly with golf lifestyle brands.
Another prototype aired on April 17 during Jill Martin’s regular shopping segment on Today called “Jill’s Steals and Deals.” During the segment, Martin directed viewers to hold up their phone’s camera to scan an on-screen QR code that directed them to the “Steals and Deals” website where they could purchase items being shown.
According to Josh Feldman, executive VP, head of marketing and advertising creative at NBCU, who spoke with several publications, the test resulted in 50,000 people scanning the code and hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales.
“With ShoppableTV, NBCUniversal is transcending the legacy business practices of television and driving business outcomes by creating an on-air real-time commerce experience,” Feldman told The Hollywood Reporter. “By pairing brands with our premium content, owning every stage of the purchase funnel and removing the barriers consumers traditionally encounter between seeing a product and making a purchase, we’re giving marketers a direct sales channel to millions of viewers across the country.”