Walmart says there is a big disconnect between the time you see an ad on TV to actually buying it, presuming you get inspired to buy it in the first place. Some platforms have tried to make this process a bit easier by leveraging QR codes, but the friction involved with grabbing your phone to scan that code to ultimately buy the product may stop many viewers from making an effort. This is a lost opportunity and lost sales, so Walmart and Roku’s partnership takes the middle man out of the equation.
When Roku users see a Walmart ad on the screen, all they have to do is select that item and press OK to proceed to checkout. Another press of OK completes the purchase using the payment details that are already stored on the user’s Roku Pay account. That’s pretty much all there is to buying something you want on TV, a dream of advertisers and retailers for decades finally come true.
For Walmart, this empowers users to instantly make a purchase at the time of inspiration — that is, the moment they see something they want to buy. Of course, this plays into modern psychology, where people have come to expect instant gratification at the push of a single button. Whether that’s good for people’s mental health — not to mention their bank accounts — is yet to be seen.