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Ecommerce: The Next Frontier For Media and Publishers

James Frankel, 01/09/2018,

As the media landscape continues to evolve, it’s clear previous monetization strategies are becoming less effective. Brands need to embrace the new digital landscape and adopt new revenue streams in order to survive.

The reality is that traditional display advertising is facing serious challenges from increasingly internet-savvy readers. Ad-blocking usage has grown 40% year-over-year and will only become a more serious threat as browsers begin to natively embed ad-blocking functionality.

For the readers that continue to see ads, content consumption is disrupted as the readers are prompted to leave for the advertisers’ sites.

For ecommerce marketers, this means significant swaths of traffic are being funneled to external sites and customers are lost after their initial visit.

Native Commerce to the Rescue

Native commerce flips this model on its head. Rather than get paid for losing traffic and pageviews, media brands can now drive revenue through directing readers to their own on-brand storefronts.

Native commerce has three distinct advantages:

  • It keeps your traffic on-site
  • Provides a higher quality web experience
  • Increases the number of actions the average reader takes per session

There’s also the fact that you’ll be bringing your brand into the physical world and getting all of the loyalty and word of mouth benefits that come with an offline presence.

Connecting With Your Audience

As publishers fight for attention in an increasingly digital content landscape full of noise, audiences have far more options for what they consume than they have had in the past. As a result, readers are building strong relationships with the brands that they go to for content.

In particular, media brands with a niche following – one with known passions and lifestyles – are uniquely positioned to deliver a captivating, on-brand experience and grow the relationship they have with their readers.

Whether your content aims to drive readers to action, keep them informed, or just provide entertainment value, editorial web traffic is rich with loyal fans who want to showcase their support for the brand.

Match Your Products With Your Brand

For some, tapping into what your audience wants could mean owning iconic photography on posters and prints. For others, nothing speaks quite like apparel and lifestyle accessories with on-brand messaging.

The products and designs you choose to offer should relate directly to what makes your brand unique and what would appeal the most to your audience. It might take some trial and error to find that exact sweet spot, but by outsourcing to a print on demand provider, you can test new products at minimal costs.

Publishers that are slow to incorporate ecommerce into their reader’s digital experience are leaving money on the table while their audience finds this relationship elsewhere.

One thing is absolutely clear: in order to survive in the digital world, publishers MUST evolve how they interact with and monetize readers. It’s time that media brands adopt a direct-to-consumer mentality to reclaim their web traffic and solidify reader relationships.

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