Monterosa – How apps and merch became one in reality TV

Monterosa – How apps and merch became one in reality TV

IABM Journal

Monterosa – How apps and merch became one in reality TV

Tue 19, 12 2023

Monterosa – How apps and merch became one in reality TV

Georgia Miles, Head of Ecommerce, Monterosa

It all started with a water bottle.

Love Island launched in 2015 and quickly became one of the most successful reality TV shows in history – with 22 versions launched globally, and into its ninth season in the UK.

One of the integral elements of the series is the Love Island app.

From interactive polls to quizzes, live content updates to ad inventory, the Love Island app helps to keep fans hooked on the show throughout the season.

Powered by Monterosa / Interaction Cloud,  the real-time fan app drives increased levels of engagement and is an essential part of the format itself, empowering viewers to affect the show’s outcome, through a range of votes.

Developing new revenue streams

During the show’s production, a need arose to create a personalized water bottle for islanders. Out of this, we were able to create a desirable product which leant itself perfectly to retail.

Featured heavily within the show, the water bottle presented the perfect first step into commercializing attention through ecommerce. It was an experiment in impulse buying, personalization and enhancing fandom with carefully selected products.

From this initial idea, we created the Love Island Shop, featured and promoted within the app, enabling viewers to shop the show as they watched.

Combining the app & merch for an immersive user experience

To drive sales it was essential that the shop offered the best possible user experience, integrated into the Love Island app.

We relaunched the shop in 2019 to significantly improve UX. The focus was on making the journey more seamless, with fewer steps from viewing to purchase. We integrated with Shopify but used partially native UI to make the experience as slick as possible – nobody enjoys “clicking out” of an app to a website.

Being able to personalize items also helped to improve the experience and therefore, likelihood of conversion.

Timed promotional tiles in the app take the user directly to the shop when viewing Islander content, as well as shop adverts across ITVX – bringing the app and merch closer together, across many of ITV’s digital channels.


Ecommerce has since become a part of a range of ITV shows, including I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, This Morning, Lorraine, Good Morning Britain, Loose Women, The Masked Singer, ITV Racing and most recently, Big Brother.

Watch & Shop – the results

A huge part of ITV Shop’s success has been the seamless transition from watching the show, to ordering the product and having it in your home within a couple of days. Watch & Shop we call it.

Bringing the app and merchandising together has resulted in over £22.5m worth of product sales for ITV to date, with sales continuing to impress and the breadth of products growing by the day.

By working with broadcasters to decide what products would be an asset on the show while in production, we’re able to respond quickly to audience trends – creating and delivering products that tap directly into a show’s best characters, quotes and more. With print-on-demand (POD), we can deliver merch that is personalized and created on order.

To find out more about how ITV go beyond the big screen, click here

Search For More Content