Digiday Research: Publishers turn to retailers to sell their products

As publishers get more serious about generating commerce revenue, they’re looking beyond simply adding affiliate links to their pages. Many have taken steps to create their own online store through which to sell products, but increasingly publishers are selling their own products via third-parties too.

A survey of 53 publishers at the Digiday Hot Topic: Commerce for Publishers found that 41 percent of publishers now sell products via a third party, such as Amazon or other retailers.

Even for publishers with their own online stores, there’s a general consensus about the need for third-party partners. Seventy-six percent of publishers with owned online stores that were surveyed at the Digiday event said they also sell goods through other retailers.

Because Amazon already holds a dominating grip on many publishers’ e-commerce businesses, working with additional retailers could help ensure they avoid becoming dependent on a single platform. To that end, PopSugar which began selling branded products earlier this year is launching a new line of apparel with Kohl’s and Clique established an early relationship with Target.

Another step publishers can take to beef up their commerce strategies is to include private-label products in their own online stores. Forty-five percent of publishers with online stores surveyed by Digiday say they sell private-label products. BuzzFeed acquired rights to several private-label products to bolster the number of products it can sell online.

One advantage for publishers in retailing private-label products is that it can help them track consumer preferences and trends. There’s also lower risk for publishers because they don’t need to worry about developing products that won’t sell.


More in Media

YouTube is under fire again, this time over child protection

Adalytics Research asks, ‘Are YouTube advertisers inadvertently harvesting data from millions of children?’

Illustration of a puzzle that spells out the word 'media.'

Media Briefing: Publishers pump up per-subscriber revenue amid ad revenue declines

Publishers’ Q2 earnings reveal digital advertising is still in a tight spot, but digital subscriptions are picking up steam.

Lessons for AI from the ad-tech era: ‘We’re living in a memory-less world’

Experts reflect how the failures of social media and online advertising can help the industry improve the next era of innovation.