How Shoppable Ads Are Making Ecommerce More Interactive

The pandemic saw many changes to our daily habits, including a rise in e-commerce and online shopping. It makes sense in the wake of lockdowns and guidance for consumers to stay home as much as possible. UNCTAD reports that, "E-commerce's share of global retail trade [rose] from 14% in 2019 to about 17% in 2020," and adds that certain markets saw online shopping increased by up to 50%. As more and more people make their way back into public, however, digital marketplaces find themselves working to keep this extra business.

One relatively new strategy from online retailers, specifically grocery delivery services, comes from the rise of shoppable recipes. For example, Instacart has partnered with Tasty and TikTok to streamline adding the items needed for a video's recipe to an Instacart list (via Modern Retail). This strategy tries to entice prospective customers with the convenience of grabbing groceries almost directly from a video. It's similar to how Walmart plans to drum up business in a newly announced partnership with video streamer Roku.

Interactive, shoppable ads on Roku

The latest e-commerce partnership between Walmart and Roku seeks to create interactive ads directly on television. The companies intend to develop shoppable ads that will pop up while viewers are watching Roku. Viewers can then simply select "OK" on their remote to purchase the advertised product. Payment information will automatically populate via Roku Pay, and the order will be fulfilled exclusively by Walmart (via Roku).

According to TechCrunch, the shoppable ads will first be shown with Roku's video on-demand content, before expanding to other channels on devices. In the streaming company's press release announcing the union, William White, Walmart's Chief Marketing Officer, said, "We're working to connect with customers where they are already spending time, shortening the distance from discovery and inspiration to purchase." 

The deal between Walmart and Roku is just the latest development in the video and e-commerce space. Online retailer eBay has also announced a venture called eBay Live, a platform that combines shopping for collectibles with a "live, interactive environment." Both moves show how retailers are seeking to capitalize on new spending habits by consumers.