Roku announced today that it has teamed up with Walmart not only to put ads on TVs and streaming devices, but it’ll let you shop Walmart right from the couch. Viewers can easily find products from their TV and checkout using Roku’s easy payment platform.
Or, as Roku explains it, this is a new “first-of-its-kind partnership to make TV streaming the next e-commerce shopping destination.” And while this isn’t the first time we’ve seen ads on Roku devices, it’s an entirely new e-commerce platform that will encourage you to make purchases from your TV with the Roku remote.
This new service works across the entire lineup of Roku players, speakers, and televisions, and as long as you’re in the U.S., you’ll start seeing these ads. From there, users can click the on-screen ad, shop from a list of “fulfilled by Walmart” products and easily buy stuff.
According to Peter Hamilton, Roku’s head of TV commerce, “We’re making shopping on TV as easy as it is on social. For years, streamers have purchased new Roku devices and signed up for millions of subscriptions with their Roku remote. Streaming commerce brings that same ease and convenience to marketers and shoppers.”
As of right now, we’re not entirely sure what to expect from the pilot program, nor do we know where Walmart ads will appear on Roku devices. That said, expect them to surface in many of the usual empty spots on the Roku home screen or inside the Roku Channel—whether you want them or not.
From the sounds of things, these aren’t typical TV ads but will be similar to advertisements seen online or on Amazon. Viewers who see something they’d like to buy can easily select it with the Roku remote and quickly begin the checkout process. Your payment and shipping information will automatically fill in using Roku Pay, and then you can hit OK on the remote, and you’re all set.
We’re unsure how relevant these ads will be to your shopping habits or how intrusive they’ll be. Still, Roku aims to “connect with customers where they are already spending time, shortening the distance from discovery to purchase,” suggesting these will be targeted ads.