Alongside its array of online e-commerce tools for SMEs and upwards, the Shopify network wants to let digital content publishers link through to its growing network of merchants. Those who do so will be rewarded with a cut of the resulting transaction revenue.
The move, which is effectively affiliate marketing, sees Shopify aiming to tempt publishers and retailers with the benefits of extra revenue, while also pulling them away from the dominating hold of Amazon or Walmart, which operates a similar scheme.
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According to The Information, Shopify is said to have approached several digital media companies such as Complex Networks and Vox Media in a bid to widen the net, having already enlisted Buzzfeed.
The idea allows digital media publishers to build in links from articles and other content that subsequently channels the reader through to a range of products available within the Shopify network. There’s plenty of potential for revenue creation, with over a million retailers residing on the e-commerce platform.
Adding further appeal for publishers is the way that they can also opt to open their own Shopify online stores. That way, it will allow digital publishers to enjoy all of the benefits of the Shopify ecosystem and businesses can directly engage with their customers without the need to move outside of their own website. Shopify stands to benefit if the take-up increases by generating extra sales as well as getting the bonus of gathering more data on both sales and shoppers.
Amazon has been enjoying the lion’s share of the affiliate marketing revenue stream until now, with one publisher stating that over 70% of its affiliate-related revenue comes from the company. However, Shopify has been building its network and e-commerce platform aggressively and has managed to boost its own revenue to $2.9 billion in 2020 amid a pandemic-themed surge in demand for online shopping.
While Amazon is still the dominant force in the world of e-commerce, initiatives like this one could tempt digital publishers to try another angle. Shopify takes a monthly fee from merchants along with a cut from each transaction that occurs on the e-commerce network.
However, Amazon is appealing for many because consumers are often already set up on its own network, thereby simplifying purchasing power. Nevertheless, Shopify could prove tempting for many who want to resist using Amazon, or are looking for products only found within the Shopify merchant network.
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Via The Information