This Week in eCommerce, October 1, 2021

Brittany Blackman
Sep 30, 2021

Roku Shopify Integration

Roku has partnered with Shopify to integrate a tool that will allow merchants to build, purchase and measure TV streaming ad campaigns. Roku will now become the first streaming TV app available on the Shopify App Store. 

The integration is being beta-tested by partners like personalized candle and book marketer Birthdate Co., loungewear brand Jambys, bean bag seller Moon Pod and soda maker Olipop. Jambys co-founder Andrew Goble said the company experienced a significant 63% increase in purchase consideration among viewers exposed to ads run using Roku's technology.

Shopify businesses on the small to medium scale will be able to download the Roku app and set parameters around their target audience, budget and intended campaign duration, as well as upload personalized creative assets. Within minutes, businesses can launch their carefully-crafted campaigns to Roku's audience of 55.1 million active accounts. That’s a lot of eyeballs. 

Roku joining forces with Shopify marks another step in the growth of the streaming TV ads as well as the seamless merging of commerce and content. Since the pandemic, companies have had to get crafty when figuring out not only how to reach large audiences, but also how to make them spend their coins. 

In fact, brands have even been turning to video ads to engage streamers. A recent poll found that 49% of consumers had seen an ad on their TV streaming device which motivated them to pause and shop for the product online.

That being said, integration will be timed perfectly to roll out ahead of the busy holiday season. 

Albertsons Live Stream Grocery

Popular grocery chain Albertsons Companies, which owns Safeway and Jewel-Osco, is ramping up its digital transformation, this time with shoppable, livestream video experiences developed by Redwood City-based Firework.

Albertsons will use Firework’s “shoppertainment” platform to begin launching short videos and cooking experiences on the websites of its 20 supermarket banners, with more expanded offerings and content rolling out around 2022. The new tech is designed to bring online shoppers a community-oriented experience via shoppable short-form and livestream video.

According to the company, Firework’s platform enables users to create, host and curate immersive short-form and livestream video on any website. That capability allows any retailer, DTC brand, media publisher, or business to own, engage and monetize campaigns around short-form video. Firework also reported that its short-form, shoppable videos generate 30% add-to-cart rates, versus an industry standard of less than 8%.

This marks the first U.S. grocer to adopt the Firework platform.The Boise, Idaho-based retailer operates 2,278 retail food and drug stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia. Albertsons also operates under the brands Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, Carrs, Kings Food Markets and Balducci’s Food Lovers Market. Evidently, the company could have a lot of content to push. 

This is the latest foray into digital advances Albertsons is making; for example, it is currently piloting remote-controlled delivery robots developed by Tortoise.

As another part of its digital transformation, Albertsons is shifting to be mobile-first as it focuses on customer engagement and retention. A few years ago, eCommerce and brick-and-mortar stores were believed to be two separate entities, but when the global pandemic hit, those lines blurred.

Free Shipt Membership for Visa Card Holders

Shipt has announced it's now providing trial periods for free and discounted membership to Visa consumer credit card holders. 

With the partnership, all Visa cardholders in the U.S. can create a Shipt account and enroll for free delivery on orders over $35. Visa Infinite cardholders can get up to three years of free Shipt membership, while Visa Signature ones can get free services for three months and then nine months of membership at 50% off. All other cardholders can get one month of free membership, followed by 50% off for three months.

The partnership appears to be a symbiotic relationship. As an independently operated unit of Target, Shipt provides personal shopping and delivery services to around 5,000 U.S. cities, available to a whopping 80% of the nation’s households. Its retail partners span the grocery, alcohol, kitchen goods and household staples, pet care, health and wellness, and business products segments. It makes sense for Visa to get in on the action. 

The partnership was born out of Visa reaching out to Shipt. It comes at a time when retailers and eCommerce firms are getting their ducks in a row amid the upcoming holiday season. Shipt, which already skews heavily toward membership, will be watching for engagement and longevity among Visa cardholders.

This partnership Shipt's latest push to add new customers and convert them to members. This past summer, Shipt launched the Preferred Shopper tool to let members designate their top personal shoppers to handle future orders. 

The launch also culminates an impressive period of fast-paced growth for Shipt, which included a year of adding more than 30 retail partners and tripling its shopper base to meet consumer demand. That’s quite a busy year for the company.

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