NBCU Readies for Holiday Commerce with PayPal Deal

NBCU Paypal
(Image credit: NBCU)

Getting ready for the holidays, NBCUniversal is ramping up its commerce efforts and has signed a deal making PayPal its preferred payment partner.

NBCU set up Shoppable TV in order to generate more revenue from companies looking to do business with its audiences. That includes both advertisers and companies too new or too small to advertise on television.

The company expanded its effort with NBCUniversal Checkout, its online storefront that’s connected to TV and digital content. 

Checkout was announced in April, but didn’t launch until August. NBCU now has more than 60 retail partners including 10Grove, Chaser, Koio, Our Place, Paravel, Pour les Femmes, and Sewing Down South, from Southern Charm's Craig Conover.

Many of those retail partners will be included in shoppable gift guides with PayPal branding that will appear online on Bravo, E! NBC Sports, Syfy, Telemundo and Today digital properties, as well as during Shoppable TV segments integrated into shows such as LatinX Now, Un Nuevo Dia, En Casa con Telemundo, Syfywire After Dark and E!’s Daily Pop.

Shoppers will be given the option of saving their PayPal accounts within NBCU Checkout, making  purchases more convenient.

“We’re really excited about this next step in our business model because of these 60-plus brands, 94% are not traditional NBCU advertisers at all,” said Josh Feldman, executive VP, head of marketing and advertising creative, at NBCU.

Feldman said the number of brands was likely to expand into the hundreds by the end of next year.

“The beauty of the commercial business model at NBCU is that we’re going to be able to adjust for any type of retailer,” Feldman said. NBCU has already worked with big box retailers and its biggest traditional advertisers. But on its digital and social platforms it can work with companies that don’t have millions of dollars to spend on traditional television commercials. 

“We reach 93-94% of the country every given month. We reach them in English language. We reach them in Spanish language. We reach them on all devices, on all platforms. Those brands want to talk to them,” he said. “We’re giving them a front door to reach our audiences and a new storefront.”

Feldman noted that while it can put a shoppable message anywhere, it will only do so when appropriate. “The whole idea of commerce is to get people engaged and want to buy these products in the right environment,” he said. “You’re not going to see anything that ruins the viewing experience ever.”

NBCU thinks there’s big money in commerce. Just look at Amazon. Feldman notes that on digital and social platforms, companies spend billions of dollars on advertising and that 40% of those budgets are being spent on platforms that specifically offer shoppable ad formats. 

Working with PayPal adds to NBCU’s tool kit. The PayPal relationship will expand across all of NBCU’s commerce operations, providing both a payment mechanism as well as data about viewers and purchases, in a privacy compliant manner, Feldman said.

“This is a bigger partnership overall with PayPal," he said.

“As we approach a holiday season unlike any other, we expect the shift to digital commerce to continue to grow,” added Jill Cress, VP of consumer marketing at PayPal. “Since the pandemic started, PayPal has seen an 85% increase in purchases of beauty and personal care items and a 32% increase in items like clothing, shoes and jewelry in the U.S. As some of the most gifted categories during the holiday, we are excited to partner with NBCUniversal to help consumers access these products on their new marketplace through a simple, secure and seamless experience.”  

Financial terms between NBCU and PayPal were not disclosed.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.