NBCUniversal Ventures Into Shoppable Commerce

On the latest episode of Simplr® CXLife Today:

NBCUniversal is making its push into the shoppable commerce space. The company debuted its shoppable e-commerce platform, NBCUniversal Checkout.

  • While many companies are facing the impact store closures have had on business, some industries are still reporting strong sales. Pet retailers like Chewy, PetSmart, and Petco saw a boost in sales during March as consumers stocked up on supplies for themselves and their furry companions before safer-at-home orders began. For the month of March, pet food dollar growth was up 24% from the previous year, while pet supplies dollar growth was up 10% from last year. In comparison, apparel sales in March fell a whopping 52% year over year, furniture sales fell 28.6%, and sporting goods fell 23.5%. The strong sales reported for pet retailers underscore the importance of pets to families and how COVID-19 has affected consumer’s purchasing priorities.
  • Sycamore Partners is now looking for a way to back out of its previously agreed-upon deal to acquire a majority stake in L Brands, Victoria’s Secret. L Brands said on Wednesday that Sycamore delivered a notice to terminate their agreement. L Brands also said that Sycamore asked the Chancery Court of Delaware to allow it to rip up the agreement. The firm is now saying that by taking measures such as shuttering stores and laying off employees, L Brands violated its obligation to conduct business per the agreement between the two companies. L Brands said it will, “vigorously defend the lawsuit and pursue all legal remedies to enforce its contractual rights, including the right of specific performance.”
  • Target revealed that while it’s gaining market share as shoppers shift to online shopping, it’s also shedding profits. The company’s digital sales are up 100% year-over-year since the beginning of February, with April sales increasing more than 275%. The company said they expect operating margins to drop by more than 5% in the first quarter.

NBCUniversal Debuts Shoppable E-Commerce Platform

NBCUniversal just debuted a shoppable e-commerce platform. On Thursday, the company introduced NBCUniversal Checkout, a direct-to-consumer platform that allows companies to connect content with their e-commerce operations, according to a press release. With the platform, retailers can create branded and editorial on NBCUniversal properties with links to featured items, use NBCU codes to connect TV viewers with items shown and integrate NBCUniversal Checkout with their social media posts, the company said.

It’s the latest effort on the part of NBCUniversal to bridge the gap between content and commerce. The company said it’s trying to ease the shift from physical stores to delivery and e-commerce in the wake of COVID-19 forcing stores to close.

NBCUniversal isn’t the only company venturing into the shoppable commerce space. On Wednesday, Google announced it would allow sellers to list products without selling fees, and began testing shoppable commerce on Youtube last May.