Univision Launching Shopping Service in ‘Despierta America’

Univision is pushing into the home-shopping business, working with e-commerce company Knocking to create an online marketplace called Gangas & Deals.

The network will show items being sold on the site in a weekly segment on its Despierta America morning show starting Thursday. It has already begun a multi-platform promotional campaign using assets including the company’s radio stations, influencers and social media outlets.

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TV networks have long looked for ways to sell products directly to their viewers, but their home-shopping success has been limited. Earlier this month NBCUniversal announced a ShoppableTV initiative, enabling advertisers to connect viewers to their e-commerce websites by scanning a QR Code on their smartphones.

Univision said its Gangas & Deals marketplace will be tailored for Hispanic American consumers.

“We are enthusiastic to bring meaningful products to our audience’s everyday routines, as well as connect top brands to the country’s fastest growing consumer base,” said John Buergler, senior VP of growth initiatives, Univision Local Media.

In the segments, Aleyda Ortiz will be the host of the weekly shopping segment. She will interact with Despierta America’s Ana Patricia Gamez and Francisca Lachapel Brands to be featured on the show and available at gangasanddeals.com include Mellie Blanco, Hudson + Bleeker and Hampton Forge.

“First and foremost, this is going to be a great content element for Despierta America,” said Buergler.

The show is the top morning program among Hispanic viewers, averaging 501,000 total viewers  and 197,000 adults 18-49 this season.

Univision has done research to ensure that its offering is authentic and resonates with the Hispanic audience.

“We think that we’re uniquely positioned to provide the U.S. Latina audience with a curated offering of fashion, apparel and home goods that they’re not going to be able to get anywhere else,” Buergler said.

Knocking has helped build e-commerce businesses for media outlets including Headline News, Lifetime and Yahoo in the U.S. and Bell Media in Canada.

“Media companies like Univision have such a loyal set of viewers and consumers and have a relationship with them. We come in and help Univision turn those audiences into buyers,” said Markus Reinmund, CEO of Knocking.

The Gangas & Deals site will be customized for Univision.

“There’s a lot of data that goes into supporting the optimization of what the preferences are, what the right price points are, and the entire shopping experience is built to be as hassle free and as Amazon-like as people are used to by now,” Reinmund said.

Unlike some other home shopping arrangements, consumers will interact directly with a site controlled by Univision and Knocking. They will know about what viewers are buying and handle returns to ensure customer satisfaction.

The marketers whose products appear don’t pay upfront. Univision and Knocking get a percentage of sales.

“This is another way that brands can participate in that show. We feel very comfortable about our ability to connect with consumers and help them [marketers] move product. And this is another tool for our sales team to serve brands.”

Those brands have to offer either an exclusive product or exclusive pricing to be on Gangas & Deals. “When these deals get featured, there’s no question that these are real deals,” said Reinmund.

“It is really a no-risk situation for a brand and a great opportunity for them to reach new markets,” added Brian Meehan, COO of Knocking.

Univision and Knocking believe the Spanish-speaking market is ripe for home shopping, pointing to statistics showing that Hispanics spent $63 billion online in 2018 or 18% of total Hispanic retail spending. Also that 15% of total online dollars came from Hispanics and 73% of Hispanic online dollars came from Spanish-speaking Hispanics.

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.