NBCU Expands Its Commerce Initiative

Over the past two years, NBCU has made inroads in the commerce arena, building capabilities that drive transactions directly and measuring those conversion events. The strategy makes sense: If you know your ad inventory drives purchases, you might as well go full Amazon and own the whole funnel.

And NBCU has executed on that vision incrementally, with an ecommerce venture on the GOLF Channel and ShoppableTV ads in 2019. In 2020 it released its own checkout experience, so consumers don’t have to click to another site to buy.

NBCU said on Monday it had effectively bundled all of those capabilities into an offering called One Platform Commerce. So instead of a one-off deployment, NBCU can enable direct purchasing across a large part of its portfolio, including linear TV, online video and digital sites – for both editorial and branded content.

Activations can happen on NBCU-owned properties including E!, Telemundo, NBC Sports and Bravo, though Peacock isn’t yet integrated. But watch this space, said Josh Feldman, EVP and head of marketing and ad creative at NBCU: “We’re definitely in conversations with Peacock and hopefully, that’s something we’ll talk about next year.”

One Platform Commerce also has a retail network of 60 smaller brands such as Paravel and Koio – 94% of which haven’t advertised on TV before. Feldman anticipates “hundreds” of retailers in the network by end of 2021.

As part of this debut, NBCU also revealed a partnership with PayPal as its preferred payment platform and – just in time for the holidays – PayPal is powering online shoppable gift guides on SYFY, TODAY, Telemundo and others, as well as ShoppableTV ads that’ll pop up on linear TV shows including SYFYWIRE After Dark and E!’s Daily Pop.

After a few years of experimentation, NBCU is now formalizing a new, commerce-driven revenue stream. There will, of course, be a revenue share for products sold through NBCU though the network’s cut varies. “It’s usually within a specific range, but it’s customized for each brand,” Feldman said.

And the next step for NBCU is to grow its list of retail partners, as well as activating on other brands within the NBCU portfolio. “And we’ll have a much bigger social presence as we move forward,” Feldman said.


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