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The Walmart/Roku pilot enables shopping on streaming TV ads without the need to click on a QR code.

Walmart to enable product purchases via Roku TV streaming

First-of-its-kind pilot brings checkout experience to digital television ads

Walmart is teaming with streaming platform Roku to enable customers to buy products directly from television advertisements, bypassing the need to click on a QR code.

Describing the pilot program as a “first of its kind,” Walmart and Roku said that when viewers see a product they want while viewing streaming TV content, they simply use their remote to press “OK” on the shoppable ad and proceed straight to checkout, with their payment details pre-populated by the Roku Pay payment platform — skipping the QR code entirely. Tapping “OK” on the Walmart checkout page then places the order, and a Walmart purchase confirmation is emailed with shipping, return and support information.

“We’re working to connect with customers where they are already spending time, shortening the distance from discovery and inspiration to purchase,” according to William White, chief marketing officer for Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart. “No one has cracked the code around video shoppability. By working with Roku, we’re the first-to-market retailer to bring customers a new shoppable experience and seamless checkout on the largest screen in their homes, their TV.”

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Consumers seeing a product they want while viewing streaming TV content use their remote to press 'OK' on the shoppable ad and proceed right to checkout.

OneView, Roku’s ad-buying platform for TV streaming, will activate and measure the shoppable ads. Additionally, marketers can use the Roku Brand Studio to design custom creative and branded content for TV streaming and shopping.

“We’re making shopping on TV as easy as it is on social,” Peter Hamilton, head of TV commerce at San Jose, Calif.-based Roku, said in a statement. “For years, streamers have purchased new Roku devices and signed up for millions of subscriptions with their Roku remote. Streaming commerce brings that same ease and convenience to marketers and shoppers.”

In announcing the Walmart partnership, Roku noted that its advertising technology stack brings the benefits of streaming TV advertising — targeting, optimization and measurement — to the e-commerce partnership. With Walmart, Roku said, the pilot fuses entertainment with commerce, unlocking an in-platform buying experience for customers that will continue to evolve.

Another grocery retail giant, The Kroger Co., partnered with Roku in 2020 on a new shopper data program aimed at consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketers. Under the collaboration, Kroger Precision Marketing (KPM) was tapped to build first-to-market targeting and attribution tools for streaming TV, providing Kroger sales information to help marketers make more precise and measurable media-buying decisions.

Other companies in the grocery retail realm enabling “shoppable” digital media content include Instacart, The Fresh Market and Albertsons Cos.

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