Streaming Services Embrace Second-Screen Shopping Experiences

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Streaming Services Embrace Second-Screen Shopping Experiences

As the streaming landscape continues to evolve, major platforms like Paramount, Disney, Netflix, and Peacock are exploring new ways to engage viewers beyond the traditional television experience. One emerging trend is the integration of second-screen shopping features, allowing viewers to seamlessly browse and purchase products related to the content they’re watching.

Paramount’s Mobile Shopping Venture

Paramount has recently announced the launch of a new “mobile shopping experience” during this weekend’s CMT Music Awards red carpet. Partnering with Shopsense AI, Paramount aims to enable viewers to browse and purchase items inspired by the on-screen content. The custom online shop will feature a range of products, including women’s fashion, home decor, and a “Western Gothic Country” section sponsored by Walmart.

Streaming Platforms’ Shopping Integrations

Streaming platforms have approached the integration of shopping features in various ways. On Peacock, for example, subscribers can see ads for items related to what they’re watching, such as kitchen utensils used on a cooking show. Viewers can then scan a QR code from their TV and purchase the items on their phone. Peacock’s Love Island online shopping page includes a $75 flamingo pool float and a $19 underwater camera.

In January, Disney announced it would test sending personalized product ads to viewers through email or push notifications to their phones, allowing them to shop “without disrupting their viewing experience.” Netflix is also exploring ways to reach viewers on their second screens while they watch its programs.

The Rise of Second-Screen Shopping

The streamers’ focus on second-screen shopping experiences is not a new concept. Shopping has long been a part of the television viewing experience, from the infomercials of the early 2000s to QVC-style shopping programs. The creators of shows want a cut when viewers go out and purchase products they’ve seen on screen.

This trend extends beyond television, with social media platforms like TikTok and Pinterest also adding more e-commerce features in recent years. These platforms aim to keep users within their “walled gardens,” guiding them from product discovery to the final purchase.

Microsoft’s Surface Lineup Offers Compelling Options

While Apple’s latest MacBook Air has been hogging the spotlight, Microsoft’s Surface lineup continues to offer compelling options for Windows users. Two standout devices in the Surface family are currently available at their lowest prices to date.

Surface Laptop 5: A Powerful and Portable Choice

The Surface Laptop 5, equipped with a 12th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage, is currently available for $699.99 ($300 off) at Amazon and Best Buy. This stunning laptop combines power and portability, featuring a thin chassis and a spacious 3:2 display that supports Dolby Vision IQ for optimized HDR content. While it could use a few more ports, the inclusion of Thunderbolt 4 support is a welcome addition.

Surface Pro 9: A Versatile Convertible

For those seeking a laptop that can double as a tablet, the Surface Pro 9 may be the better option. The Intel-powered convertible sports a 120Hz screen, several color options, a built-in kickstand, and great hardware, especially when paired with the optional stylus and detachable keyboard. The Surface Pro 9 is currently available for $749.99 ($350 off) at Amazon and Best Buy.

Keep in mind that Microsoft may unveil new consumer versions of the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 during its upcoming AI event in late May. However, the current Surface lineup remains a great choice for those who can’t wait.

Anker’s Versatile Travel Companion

As the weather warms up and travel plans pick up, having a reliable charging solution is essential. One of our favorite travel accessories, the Anker 321 Power Strip, is currently available at an all-time low price of $14.96 ($11 off) on Amazon.

The Anker 321 Power Strip: Compact and Versatile

Anker’s 321 Power Strip combines a power strip and a five-foot extension cord, making it a handy companion for charging your devices while on the go. With three AC outlets, two USB-A ports, and a single USB-C port, you can easily power up your laptop, phone, tablet, and other gadgets. The compact design allows you to easily pack it in a small carry-on bag, ensuring you have the necessary charging capabilities during your travels.

Zepto’s Rapid Rise in India’s Quick-Commerce Sector

The quick-commerce industry in India has seen remarkable growth in recent years, and one of the standout players in this space is Zepto. According to a report by Goldman Sachs, Zepto has surpassed the $1 billion annualized sales milestone within just 29 months of its inception, showcasing the company’s rapid expansion.

Zepto’s Competitive Positioning

Zepto, which competes with Zomato-owned Blinkit and SoftBank-backed Swiggy Instamart, is gaining significant market share and is now “close to that of the number 2 player” in the instant-commerce market. The startup, which became a unicorn last year, operates in seven Indian cities and utilizes a network of over 300 dark stores, or microfulfillment centers, to offer customers quick delivery of a range of products, including grocery and electronics.

Zepto’s Impressive Performance

Zepto’s management has informed Goldman Sachs that the company currently processes approximately 550,000 orders daily and is on track to break even at the EBITDA level within the next quarter. The startup expects to achieve a steady-state contribution margin of 12% and a steady-state EBITDA margin of 7%. Additionally, Zepto’s newly opened dark stores are now turning profitable in just 9 months, compared to the previous 15-18 months, with a throughput of 1,500 orders per day per store.

The Growth of Quick-Commerce in India

The quick-commerce sector in India, which didn’t exist just three years ago, has now surpassed the $5 billion mark, capturing over half of the online grocery market and achieving a scale on par with prominent Indian supermarket chain Dmart. Zepto believes that quick-commerce platforms are well-positioned compared to other formats of organized grocery, both offline and online, due to their proximity advantage to customers while maintaining the benefits of price, assortment, and quality.

Amazon’s Persistent Plastic Waste Problem in the US

Despite making pledges to reduce its plastic packaging, a new report from the nonprofit conservation organization Oceana suggests that Amazon’s plastic waste in the US has continued to grow. The report estimates that Amazon generated 208 million pounds of plastic waste from its packaging in the US in 2022 alone, a nearly 10% increase from the previous year.

Oceana’s Findings and Amazon’s Response

Oceana’s analysis, which relied on market data and public statements made by Amazon, indicates that the US is a concerning outlier for the e-commerce giant. Globally, Amazon reported an 11.6% reduction in the use of plastic packaging in 2022 compared to the prior year. However, the US, which is Amazon’s largest market, is where the company needs to make significant progress.

In response to Oceana’s report, Amazon’s vice president of mechatronics and sustainable packaging, Pat Lindner, called the analysis “misleading” and “exaggerated,” pointing to the company’s “multi-year effort to eliminate plastic delivery packaging from our US automated fulfillment centers.” Amazon has already replaced single-use plastic delivery bags with paper alternatives in Europe and India, but the transition has been slower in the US.

Oceana’s Calls for Action

Oceana is urging Amazon to phase out plastic packaging in the US and to reduce the total amount of plastic packaging it uses by at least one-third by the end of the decade. The organization argues that the US market should not be left behind in Amazon’s efforts to address its plastic waste problem.

NASA’s Lunar Terrain Vehicle for Artemis Astronauts

As part of its Artemis lunar exploration program, NASA has selected three companies to develop a Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) that will help astronauts explore the Moon’s south polar region. The selected companies, Intuitive Machines, Lunar Outpost, and Venturi Astrolab, will work on designing vehicles that can accommodate two suited astronauts and handle the extreme conditions of the lunar environment.

The Lunar Terrain Vehicle’s Capabilities

The LTV must feature robotic and remote operation capabilities, allowing NASA to continue exploring and conducting tests even when astronauts are not on the Moon. The vehicles will be used to travel to locations that might not be accessible on foot, enabling increased exploration and scientific discoveries.

The Development Process

The three companies will first undertake a feasibility task order, a year-long special study to develop a system that meets NASA’s requirements through the preliminary design maturity project phase. After this, NASA will request a proposal for a demonstration mission to continue the development, deliver the LTV to the Moon’s surface, and validate its performance and safety before the Artemis V mission.

Intuitive Machines’ Lunar Achievements

Intuitive Machines, one of the selected companies, recently made headlines as the first private aerospace company to land a spacecraft on the Moon. Its lunar lander was also the first from the US to reach the Moon’s surface in over 50 years, though it landed on its side.


Streaming services really want you to buy stuff while you watch TV

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 5 and Intel Pro 9 are down to their lowest price to date

Quick-commerce startup Zepto zooms to $1.2B in annualized sales, Goldman says

Amazon still has a serious plastic waste problem in the US

NASA picks three companies to develop a Moon car for Artemis astronauts

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