Will Walmart become the go-to shopping destination for cord cutters?

Discussion
Source: Roku
Jun 21, 2022

Walmart is teaming up with Roku to let users of the streaming platform purchase products they see on their screens.

The companies claim that their partnership will do nothing less than “change the way customers interact and shop TV and video content.” Roku, the nation’s biggest streaming platform based on hours of viewing, according to Hypothesis Group, provides Walmart with access to its users. Walmart offers the product selection and fulfillment.

“We’re working to connect with customers where they are already spending time, shortening the distance from discovery and inspiration to purchase,” William White, chief marketing officer, Walmart, said in a statement. “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.”

The Walmart/Roku partnership differs from traditional shoppable TV ads in that it does so without the use of QR codes, which require viewers to locate their phones and scan a code before buying the product they want.

Roku users will be able order products they see on their screens by pressing “OK” on the item they want. They can then go to the checkout that will be pre-populated with payment details from Roku Pay, the service’s payment platform. Users simply press “OK” a second time and will receive confirmation of the order with shipping details, return and support information via email. (Editor’s note: Roku users with kids may want to hide their remotes if they let their children watch television unattended and have their payment details stored with Roku Pay.)

“We’re making shopping on TV as easy as it is on social,” said Peter Hamilton, Head of TV Commerce, Roku. “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.”

Roku’s OneView ad-buying platform will activate and measure the shoppable ads.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you agree that Walmart and Roku’s partnership will change the way American consumers interact and shop from TV and video content? Do you expect that other streaming platforms such as Apple TV will offer a similar service?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"This feels like one small step for Roku, one significant step for TV shopping. "
"This is a win for Roku, its customers and Walmart. The ability to shop without the QR code step will simplify the process..."
"I think people will drop items from the show to the shopping list and then decide later after research if they will buy."

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17 Comments on "Will Walmart become the go-to shopping destination for cord cutters?"


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Mark Ryski
BrainTrust

I agree that “No one has cracked the code around video shoppability…” and I’m not sure this will either. However this does appear to represent a step forward in making products immediately accessible from TV and video like never before. Enabling consumers to view and ultimately buy from TV and video content makes great sense, and I expect that the other platforms will or have already been working on something similar.

Lucille DeHart
BrainTrust

Live shopping, streaming commerce and social retail are here, but this is the missing ingredient to adoption for sure. China is way ahead of us in this space and the topic is consistently on industry agendas. Walmart, as usual, is paving the way for innovative retail. My guess is that this will soon merge into retail media with preferential placements for Walmart vendors. Layer on additional access to free entertainment with Walmart+ and we have a winner!

Carol Spieckerman
BrainTrust

The Roku partnership marks a major step forward for shoppable content. No doubt the platform will continue to be refined. Walmart’s scale will onboard shoppers to Roku’s payment platform and Roku’s capabilities will promote Walmart’s wares. It will be interesting to see how Walmart integrates the service with its in-house agency in the future. Once again, Walmart has made a move that will send game-changing ripples across the industry.

Dick Seesel
BrainTrust

To some degree, Walmart and Roku are playing catchup with Amazon. The Fire and Echo streaming devices (and every other iteration of Alexa) already make shopping on Amazon transparent, without becoming disruptive while streaming something. But Roku’s market share in streaming devices certainly makes the alliance with Walmart worth pursuing on both sides.

Dave Bruno
BrainTrust

This feels like one small step for Roku, one significant step for TV shopping. Eliminating the QR code from the shopping experience eliminates a giant obstacle and the integrated payment platform certainly streamlines things. The two key questions in my mind are as follows:

  1. In the short term, is the Walmart assortment offered through Roku broad and deep enough to lead to meaningful revenue?
  2. In the long run, how long will Roku maintain meaningful market share as smart TVs eliminate the need for streaming boxes?

This will be fun to watch (see what I did there?).

David Spear
BrainTrust

I use Roku in our home and if a consumer can click the OK button twice for order completion, this is almost as good as Amazon’s online single click buying experience. I’ve always been hesitant to scan QR codes on TV – not because I’m indifferent to the advertisement – but rather because getting to my mobile phone and then scanning the QR code takes too long, and 95 percent of the time the QR code disappears before I’m ready to snap the code! Clicking OK is much easier and I could foresee a much higher uptake on ads.

Shep Hyken
BrainTrust

Shopping is getting easier. This is just the beginning for Walmart and other retailers jumping into this shopping channel. Will Apple TV get on board? How about Amazon Prime? Of course!

Gene Detroyer
BrainTrust

Right now I can shop Walmart, Prime, Nike, et al., on my TV screen by just changing my TV source to my computer.

Lisa Goller
BrainTrust

This partnership will bring product discovery and e-commerce to more screens in the comfort of our homes. Shoppable content is a new frontier for digital ads to drive retail growth by matching our media and product consumption.

Other streaming platforms will watch this collaboration and refine their own strategies as in-home marketing evolves.

Gene Detroyer
BrainTrust

Will this change the way shoppers interact with and shop from TV? Yes, it appears to be another form of QVC, rather than an actual site to fill my needs. I also didn’t see anything about the ability to search. Or is there an ability to filter products?

This all seems a bit cumbersome.

Karen S. Herman
BrainTrust

This pilot for Roku’s ad buying platform, OneView, is a much needed boost for Roku as it navigates the competitive streaming landscape. Offering Roku Brand Studio to design branded content for streaming and shopping gives more reliability to the effort. I see this as a solid partnership and anticipate an excellent pilot launch to follow.

Jeff Weidauer
BrainTrust

Moving the shopping experience off handheld devices and onto the big(ger) screen is the logical next step in the evolution of video shopping. Walmart has the vision and the resources to make this work; the question is whether consumers want another road paved to their wallets.

Steve Montgomery
BrainTrust

This is a win for Roku, its customers and Walmart. The ability to shop without the QR code step will simplify the process and anything that makes it easier for customer to shop always increase purchases. The questions is, how long before others adopt the process now that it has gone from a concept to reality?

Kenneth Leung
BrainTrust

It will be an interesting experiment. I just don’t know if people will shop during the video content or after. I guess one advantage of streaming is that you can watch it once for entertainment and then come back and rewatch it to see if you can buy something shown in the show. I think people will drop items from the show to the shopping list and then decide later after research if they will buy.

Ricardo Belmar
BrainTrust

Walmart just extended their marketplace to the Roku TV viewing audience – a smart move! You have to wonder why Amazon hasn’t made this process equally simply on their Fire TV devices. Connected TVs are a largely untapped audience that most have failed to crack successfully. I don’t know how pervasive Roku’s OneView platform is across channels on the Roku device so it isn’t clear to me just how large an opportunity this may be, but it does reflect how Walmart is motivated to expand their reach beyond their owned digital and physical properties It also will show how effective Roku will be at monetizing their audience for advertisers. The big question this doesn’t answer is just how willing streaming viewers are to shop while watching the latest season of their favorite show!

Anil Patel
BrainTrust

Walmart is well positioned, in the last ten years they have expeditiously built their internal tech team, they have proficient omnichannel systems, and they possess a strong digital presence. Walmart has also entered into multiple acquisitions and holds substantial merchandising capabilities. The streaming platform Vudu is owned by Walmart, so entering into a partnership with Roku would not be something brand-new for them, with the presence of in-house competence Walmart makes the right candidate. Although they may require a few iterations to refine the whole process, with improvements, they certainly hold the strength to make this concept of “Streaming commerce” mainstream.

Carlos Arambula
BrainTrust

The Walmart and Roku partnership might change the way Walmart customers shop, but this is far from an “early adopter” issue changing American consumers’ habits. This feels like playing catch-up.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"This feels like one small step for Roku, one significant step for TV shopping. "
"This is a win for Roku, its customers and Walmart. The ability to shop without the QR code step will simplify the process..."
"I think people will drop items from the show to the shopping list and then decide later after research if they will buy."

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