NBCUniversal to launch livestream shopping, following Big Tech’s lead

FILE PHOTO: The NBC and Comcast logo are displayed on top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, formerly known as the GE building, in midtown Manhattan in New York
FILE PHOTO: The NBC and Comcast logo are displayed on top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, formerly known as the GE building, in midtown Manhattan in New York July 1, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

November 9, 2021

By Helen Coster

(Reuters) – NBCUniversal is making its livestream shopping debut with a show on Instagram and other platforms during the holiday season, allowing viewers to buy clothing, home decor and other products featured in the program, the Comcast Corp unit said on Tuesday.

The traditional media company is vying with tech companies for a piece of the so-called social commerce industry, which is expected to balloon to $50 billion from $36 billion in annual U.S. sales by 2023 according to research firm eMarketer.

TikTok is testing livestreamed shopping and Snap Inc is investing in augmented reality technology to help Snapchat users virtually try on items like watches, jewelry and other apparel to cut down on returns, a major problem faced by online retailers.

NBCUniversal will air the new show, “Impulse Try with Remi Bader,” live on Instagram, Facebook and Comcast’s Xfinity X1 cable box for three days beginning Friday, Nov. 26. A day after each episode airs, the shows will be available on Comcast’s Peacock streaming service and the NBC app.

Bader, 26, who lost her marketing job due to the COVID-19 pandemic, quickly built a TikTok following by sharing her take on how clothing from different brands fits a curvy body.

NBCUniversal also launched “Virtual Bravo Bazaar,” an augmented reality-driven website that allows users to buy products associated with shows on its Bravo channel, including “Below Deck” and the “Real Housewives” franchise.

The show and website use ecommerce tools called NBCUniversal Checkout, developed by the company last year, that allow shoppers to stay on the website when making their purchases. NBCUniversal takes a cut of those sales.

(Reporting by Helen Coster in New York; Additional reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by Richard Chang)