ITV is enabling viewers to buy merchandise related to its programmes directly on screen with the launch of a shoppable TV platform, which it claims is the first its kind in the UK.
The service, which went live during the current series of Love Island on ITV2 with Boots UK on board as launch partner, allows viewers to initiate the shopping interface at any time by using their LG remote. However, they must have actively opted in to receive the notifications and use the service.
Following its Love Island debut, ITV plans to roll out the service on other programmes across different genres throughout the rest of 2021.
The interactive system uses AI technology from The Take, which has technology already built directly into LG TV sets in the UK, with ITV being the first to use it here. The service identifies and tags featured products during programmes and notifies viewers that what appears on-screen is available. If a viewer is interested, they can select to view more info with their remote and make a purchase via the vendor’s site or a link sent to their phone.
Using the on-screen shopping interface, viewers are able to scroll through products, which will refresh when different products and characters are shown during a programme. Additionally, viewers can choose to view all products available from the episode of the show that they are watching.
All 2021 edition LG TVs have the technology integrated as standard, but it can also be added via a software update to the brand's 2019 and 2020 models. While Boots is the first brand to tie up with ITV to trial the technology, the channel is in discussions with further prospective partners.
The Take technology is already live in the US on LG TVs.
Bhavit Chandrani, ITV, director of digital and creative partnerships, said: “This is a unique commercial opportunity and the next natural step in what we can offer to brands. Love Island has been a fantastic platform for innovation in how we work with commercial partners over the past few years and is the perfect show to introduce shoppable TV before we roll it out across other programmes.”
Paul Ridsdale, ITV, acting chief marketing officer, added: “Shoppable TV is a wonderful innovation to allow ITV viewers to be able to shop directly from their TVs, filling a real gap currently in the market. We know ITV viewers enjoy being able to purchase items featured in our programmes and this makes doing that smoother and easier than ever before.”