The Rundown: One year in, NBCUniversal’s commerce ambitions bloom

Illustration of two people shopping online.

With the entire American economy bracing itself for the coming holiday shopping season, its largest media companies are dressing up their store windows in hopes of attracting as many shoppers and ad buyers as possible. 

On Tuesday, Nov. 9, NBCUniversal unveiled a pair of new initiatives that illustrate the progress it’s made incorporating commerce and shopping into its programming and product.

The key details

  • NBCUniversal continues to press forward with developing shoppable video programming. The model Remi Bader will host a trio of specials, “Impulse Try with Remi Bader,” which will stream across Instagram, Facebook, Xfinity and Flex platforms and Peacock, starting on Black Friday. The shows will also air on Bravo during a block normally reserved for infomercials. 
  • The first and third special will be sponsored by lingerie brand Adore Me and digital furniture retailer Wayfair, respectively.
  • Bravo is also launching Bravo Bazaar, an interactive shopping site filled with goods featured on the cable channel’s shows, including its “Real Housewives” franchises, “Below Deck” and “Southern Charm.” The Bazaar will be active for the next year.

Shopping spree

NBCUniversal launched commerce capabilities on its One platform almost exactly a year ago. Since then, it has pushed a variety of commerce products and features in front of its audiences and advertisers. It has created over 250 different pieces of shoppable content, ranging from Jill Martin’s live, hour-long shopping specials to “America’s Big Deal,” a shoppable reality competition show on USA Network hosted by shoppable TV trailblazer Joy Mangano. 

Today, the NBCU One platform’s commerce network has over 200 active retailers in it, double the number it had this spring; a standalone commerce partnerships team secures deals with them. 

Some of the content bets, such as Bravo’s Bazaar, owe a small debt to the traction that the Today Show started building around its own affiliate and native commerce endeavors several years ago

Carting it off

Most publishers’ forays into commerce have started — and stayed — focused on affiliate conversions, which allowed them to capitalize on their relationships with consumers without getting bogged down by the difficulties of storing merchandise or fulfilling orders. NBCUniversal has opted to take one step closer with a native checkout capability, which allows consumers to purchase items directly from NBCUniversal’s different brands and properties, via branded content, shoppable TV and editorial content. It also allows advertisers to target customers on social platforms with ads designed to drive a conversion.

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