The COVID-19 pandemic has created synergistic opportunities for media and retail companies, as consumers find themselves spending more time online.

Large online media and entertainment organisations are now partnering with retailers to provide exclusive goods and merchandise on their platforms, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. 

With *95% of consumers stating that they are spending more time online in general due to the pandemic, online media platforms and retailers have formed partnerships to strengthen their position in the e-commerce segment as they realised its potential. 

As Netflix looks for new revenue sources, the streaming company has opened an online store for US consumers, offering limited edition items based on its most popular original shows. 

A curated rotating stock of merchandise for popular series such as Stranger Things, The Witcher, Lupin and its most recent hit anime series, Yasuke, will all be included in the store.

Shekhar Chowdhury, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Netflix has been facing stiff competition from Amazon Prime in the streaming sector. Amazon recently acquired MGM studios for $8bn, which will significantly increase its video catalogue. 

“This strategy by Netflix will enable it to broaden its revenue streams and reduce its dependency on subscription-based streaming services.”

Similarly, Snap announced the acquisition of Fit Analytics for $124m, which specialises in apparel and footwear technology. Snap plans to combine its video expertise with Fit Analytics’ metrics to develop a solution that will extend the camera app’s features and tailor the consumer experience when virtually trying out products, as well as create its product portfolio.

Chowdhury adds: “This move by Snap will enable it to apply machine learning and leverage all the tools it needs to address sizing issues, sell more efficiently, and turn data gathered from its social media platform into actionable insights. 

“Using Snap’s technology and knowledge, Fit Analytics will be able to upscale its business and help Snap deliver best in class offerings for shopping, fashion and style.”

Instagram has also launched a tool intended to assist influencers and creators to earn a commission for products marketed on their Instagram posts. The app will allow influencers to tag affiliated brands or sponsored products that they want to advertise and earn commission on direct purchases of these products.

Chowdhury concludes: “The existing feature for shopping, coupled with a feature that will encourage influencers to actively market products, will boost customer buying and make Instagram a more lucrative platform for retailers to showcase their offerings. 

“In conclusion, these measures will enable retailers to generate a higher return on marketing investment and effectively reach the end consumer.”