Is It Time for Pubs to Take Shoppable Content Seriously?

Everyone loves a good proof of concept before pouring hundreds of thousands, or millions, into an idea. Shoppable content is one such idea, and it’s a lucrative, proven, revenue model.

In The Know, a Yahoo brand that targets Gen Z and Millennials is launching a third vertical featuring original shopper content.

“It’s live shoppable content and commerce-centric programming have increased gross merchandise value 145% year over year, according to Andrea Wasserman, the head of global commerce at Verizon Media, which owns Yahoo.”

This is a slippery slope for publishers to navigate. Profit is great, but so is editorial integrity. When activations like shoppable content are woven through editorial content, the line is blurred between where editorial reporting stops and sponsored content, native advertising and shoppable ads begin.

Is Shoppable Content Secure?

In a recent AdMonsters/Celtra Think Tank, one publisher lamented on another problem, noting they were a “little uncomfortable buying something in an ad because [they] work in the industry and see enough going on with malvertising and data leakage. There’s nothing in that [ad] window that says ‘this is a secure buy.’ There’s absolutely nothing. And there’s no way to prove that they’re secure.”

Are there ways that publishers can lean into this increasing trend and revenue opportunity without sacrificing their editorial edge?

Walmart and Meredith recently partnered up; TikTok and Shopify expanded an existing partnership, and Bustle has made all of its content shoppable.

There’s a clear divide between commerce and content yet social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube have proven that shoppable content works, especially when it involves user-generated content and influencers.

Perhaps it’s time digital publishers put on a different thinking cap and think more like social networks when it comes to shoppable content. If they don’t take a piece of this revenue pie, there are plenty of outlets that will gladly swoop in.