Buy Now. Buy Everywhere. Stay There.
The other day I read the latest “Reflections of a Newsosaur” post by the great Alan D.Mutter on the topic of “Everyware Computing.” The post discussed the emerging “Internet of Things” and how society is approaching the point where all aspects of our lives are digitally connected. This new world will have a profound impact on consumers, marketers, and the publishing business.
In the past few months, we have seen Google, Facebook, and Twitter add a new piece of technology to their platforms — the Buy Now button. This seemingly simple new addition has the potential for major change in both publishing and the eCommerce world, not to mention traditional brick and mortar retailers.
Marketers now have the ability to match products with content at the moment of relevance — when the reader is learning about a specific product or service. The reader is able to purchase the products without leaving the website, increasing reader engagement.
How does this affect the advertising-driven publishing business? Google, Facebook, and Twitter also rely on advertising to generate business. By adding an eCommerce option, these behemoths can now directly track sales that come from their sites, in addition to the sophisticated attribution models they already have in place. The impact for publishers is huge. This technology will pull even more advertising dollars away from local and national newspapers, magazines, and other content providers.
Publishers can already link out from their site and push readers to buy directly from their advertisers’ enterprise sites but this is somewhat of a self-defeating proposition because they’re losing traffic. Sellers want to move ad rates that are measured by engagement metrics such as time on page. To maximize engagement, publishers want (and need) to keep their readers contained within their own site as long as possible.
The best way content publishers can counter the eCommerce giants is to establish their own Marketplaces, hosted on their own sites. Publishers already have the traffic and trust of their communities; they can also take advantage of the buying power of their readers. Advertisers can run both brand spots and shopping opportunities that reach specific geographic or special interest communities.
For example, when a reader has opened up a story on what the prospects are looking like for the Chicago Cubs this year, an advertisement will enable them to buy a new Jon Lester Cubs jersey without leaving the page. This is driven by Okanjo’s Contextual Commerce functionality that matches keywords and content with the products or services relevant to the story. In addition to selling to local retailers, publishers can also capture more national advertising dollars as there will be plenty of major brands who will want to tap into that elusive local dollar.
Rather than sitting, waiting and watching as your ad revenue gets gobbled up by the giants on the horizon, I highly recommend that publishers plan on adding Okanjo’s eCommerce platform to their sites. We are now in the era of “Everyware Computing” and consumers will expect to be able to buy everywhere.