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Roku App for Shopify to Bring TV Ads to Any Size Merchant

·3 min read

The walls between online and TV-fueled shopping are breaking down fast, as a new Roku app makes its way to the Shopify retail platform.

The app, revealed Tuesday by the streaming TV platform, aims to help “Shopify merchants of any size to easily create TV advertising campaigns using precise audiences and measurement throughout their marketing funnel,” according to the announcement. “This is a significant advancement from traditional linear and cable TV advertising solutions, which offer limited targeting and measurement options.”

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The sign-up page on Roku’s site breaks it down more simply, stating that “we’re making it easier for smaller companies, including those with smaller marketing budgets, to advertise on TV.”

So far, much of the momentum behind the television industry’s pursuit of e-commerce has focused on large brands and retailers, or at least those with deep enough pockets, as well as big tech partnerships. That’s the pool where the likes of NBC Universal and QVC parent Qurate tend to circulate.

Shopify — whose Canada-based universe extends to more than 1.7 million businesses across over 175 countries — serves retailers of all sizes, from large or buzzworthy brands like Kendra Scott, Mansur Gavriel, Rebecca Minkoff and Victoria Beckham to small or local independent merchants.

All of them will be able to reach the Roku audience, which is no small matter. The TV streaming company is among the most popular in its category, serving as many as 55.1 million active accounts.

“By launching the new Roku app in the Shopify App Store, merchants can bring their products directly to TV screens, while allowing consumers to discover exciting new brands right from their living room,” explained Amir Kabbara, Shopify’s director of product.

The app allows merchants to kick off a TV campaign in minutes, according to Roku. Shopify users merely add the app from the Shopify App Store, select the audience and campaign details — like budget, timing and duration — and then upload the creative assets.

Roku, and indeed all TV platforms, have plenty of reason to pursue direct-to-consumer shopping. A recent holiday shopping survey it conducted with The Harris Poll revealed that nearly half of participants, at 49 percent, acknowledged pausing their TV and shopping online for a product in the past, based on seeing ads on their TV streaming device. This is a notable jump from 2020, the company said.

Within its own OneView Ad Platform, which covers d-to-c business, Roku also saw spend nearly triple year-over-year in the second quarter of 2021. Other internal data predicted that 78 percent of users will shop a small or local business in the next three months, whether online or in a physical store.

“The shift to TV streaming has accelerated, and growth advertisers need a solution that can solve their top-of-funnel branding needs as well as a simple solution that complements their lower funnel search and social efforts,” explained Jared Lefkowitz, senior director of ad revenue strategy at Roku. “This is a powerful and simple advertising opportunity for SMBs [small to medium-size businesses] to reach customers at scale, just as Fortune 500 brands have done for decades.

“We’re excited to launch an easy-to-use solution for Shopify merchants that drives brand awareness on the biggest screen in the home,” he said.

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