NBCUniversal on Thursday introduced NBCUniversal Checkout, a direct-to-consumer platform, which allows small and large companies to connect content with their e-commerce operations, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
With the platform, retailers can create branded and editorial content 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.
The company is waiving cart and technology fees on ShoppableTV and digital branded content experiences until the end of the year, per the company's statement.
The NBCUniversal Checkout launch is the latest effort NBCUniversal has made to bridge the gap between content and commerce. In March 2019, the company unveiled a website with Golf Channel that allows shoppers to engage with brands, shows and TV personalities.
The company said it's trying to ease the shift from physical stores to delivery and e-commerce given that the COVID-19 outbreak has forced retailers to close. It aims to help companies by offering this new technology and eliminating extra expenses, per its statement.
Of course, NBCUniversal is not the only company venturing into the shoppable commerce space and making e-commerce more affordable. On Wednesday, Google announced that it would allow sellers to list products without paying fees. Google also began testing shoppable commerce on YouTube last May.
As non-essential retailers have been forced to close stores to slow the spread of the coronavirus, retailers already struggling have been hit especially hard. Companies like Streetify, eBay and Builder.ai have stepped up to provide financial and tech resources to allow merchants to transition to e-commerce. However, it's not clear whether e-commerce sales will make up for the lost in-store traffic.