With e-commerce sales expanding faster than the advertising market, the integration of content and commerce has become a bigger priority for media companies. The pandemic sped up this convergence as consumers shunned brick-and-mortar stores and spent more time shopping from home.

NBCUniversal, which today is hosting its One21 event to showcase its One Platform that gives advertisers a way to reach target audiences at scale, has made a big push into mixing content and commerce. Its platform marks a convergence among a variety of technologies that encompass linear and streaming TV, connected devices, online payments and high-speed internet.

‘From Passion to Purchase’

The technologies make it “possible to drive that experience where you can see something in a piece of programming and at that moment of inspiration decide that you want it, and in a couple clicks have it on the way to your home,” Evan Moore, vice president of commerce partnerships at NBCUniversal Media, said in this interview with Beet.TV.

“That’s what we’re here to do with One Platform Commerce, which is our suite of integrated commerce capabilities, is to drive those transactional moments, to drive from passion to purchase with NBCU content, wherever that content appears,” he said.

The company distributes content through linear, digital, streaming, Spanish-language, local TV stations and social media. On social networks like Facebook and Instagram, NBCUniversal provides a way for consumers to buy products directly with instant checkout features.

“We’re providing a platform for a retail partner to come in through a single point of entry and drive commerce through our content across the entire ecosystem of touchpoints that we have with viewers and consumers,” Moore said.

Shoppable TV Moments

Its Shoppable TV platform integrates programming with e-commerce by showing QR codes that viewers can scan with a smartphone camera to visit a shopping site. In the past year, NBCUniversal gave viewers of the French Open tennis tournament a way to buy the jersey worn by star player Novak Djokovic, and to order a “blonding brush” in the show “Very Cavalleri.” During the holiday season, viewers of the “Today” show on its Peacock streaming platform could buy products featured in a “steals and deals” segment.

“We can also drive commerce experience across the web through either our articles or interactive videos,” Moore said. “You can be reading a shoppable gift guide or watching a piece of video content and actually clicking on the products that are featured in that content in real time, add them to a shopping cart and purchase all without leaving the NBCU content experience.”

The company plans to widen the interactive platform beyond the current number of seven properties, which include the Today.com, E! Online and Telemundo.com websites.

“We’re going to be expanding across the rest of the portfolio this year, including national cable networks like USA, but also across all the local stations as well,” Moore said. “When I look at these new tools, it’s really changing the types of experiences and content that we create for consumers and the value we can bring to them through that experience. There’s a lot to be gained for us, for consumers and for brands.”