Streaming’s Next Frontier: Commerce

Illustration of a TV remote being used to shop on a television

By Lindsay Pullins, Manager, Revenue Partnerships, Roku

What marketers need to know about the future of commerce from Connected TV.  

The next wave of commerce has arrived and its happening on your living room TV. TV streaming provides brands with a natural way to enable shoppers to act immediately on what they see onscreen. According to Roku’s Season of Streaming 2022 report, 47% of people have paused an ad to shop for the advertised product online.[1]

While people have shopped from TV for30+ years through networks like QVC and HSN, leading brands will tap streaming commerce to make shopping on TV as easy as it is on social and mobile.

EMarketer projects that Social Commerce will grow to $130 Billion by 2026.[2] Over the last 15 years, mobile commerce has evolved to become frictionless and the same dynamic will play outin television over the next 15 years. Leading marketers will begin exploring streaming commerce today to learn how to augment the largest screen with intuitive commerce features.

Here are four ways you can lay the groundwork for a powerful TV Commerce strategy:

  1. Test today, learn tomorrow: Brands that start experimenting with commerce-enabled TV streaming ads today will have the benefit of historical data on their TV commerce initiatives, including year-over-year comparisons of shoppable ad formats, consumer adoptions and directly attributable revenue.
  2. Make TV a performance channel: Assess your KPIs for CTV and consider whether to focus more media investment on lower funnel objectives. CTV’s abilities to ingest first-party data and to support closed-loop sales measurement make it an ideal performance channel. Putting measurement and success at the forefront of your planning will prepare you to innovate in television commerce and learn from your experiments.
  3. Embrace machine learning: Machine learning can help you optimize your streaming TV ads towards top performing SKUs or product bundles. Machine learning will also enable brands that are deploying shoppable ad formats to optimize towards performant audiences that are most likely to engage directly with these offers.
  4. Think creative first: Television Commerce creative requires a clear call to action. Your standard linear creative may not work when thinking about driving purchase on the TV screen. Consider bundling a promotion or coupon to encourage instant purchase or crafting special offers for purchases happening on a Connected TV. Test different creative formats and CTAs to determine which combination will lead a streamer to convert.

Television Commerce will offer exciting opportunities for retailers and brands to enable direct transactions in ads that are interwoven with their favorite programming. While it’s still early days, advertisers who establish a TV commerce testing and measurement strategy today will be well positioned to capitalize when consumers begin using their remotes to purchase products at scale in the months and years to come.

Attending Advertising Week in person or virtually? Check out Roku’s session, “TV Streaming’s next frontier: Commerce” on Tuesday, October 18 at 9:15 AM ET to learn more and be sure to see Roku’s full agenda.

[1] Roku and Harris Poll, The Season of Streaming, 2022

[2] eMarketer, July 2022