Velera The FinTech Innovation Agenda June 2024 Banner

Publishers Integrate Commerce as Consumers Demand Shopping Wherever, Whenever

Publishers Integrate Commerce for Seamless Shopping

Consumers increasingly expect to be able to make purchases at the point of discovery, and publishers and retailers are adapting accordingly.

On a call with analysts last week discussing its latest earningsBuzzFeed shared that shoppable content enables retailers to reach consumers at lower-intent moments, finding new audiences.

“People come to BuzzFeed for all kinds of things, …and sometimes while they’re there, they start discovering the shopping content and buy things,” CEO Jonah Peretti said during the call. “Other times, they might come there because they want to shop, but they want to shop for fun. They’re not doing research on a particular product they might [know they] want to buy. It’s much more about discovery, finding something, … being inspired.”

Peretti added that the company is turning to generative artificial intelligence to offer more personalized commerce capabilities and that will tap new features such as “dynamic insertion of recommended products” to grow its retailer offerings.

The publisher’s “commerce and other revenues” segment saw a 9% year-over-year drop in revenue, which Buzzfeed attributed to retailers pulling back on promotional spending as well as a dip in consumer traffic.

Other content companies including recipe publishers, lifestyle sites and tutorial/how-to hubs integrate shopping into their online experiences. These moves come as traditional retail sites become less effective, with consumers increasingly expecting shopping to find them. The traditional linear shopping journey has been replaced by a more fluid path. Discovery, research, and purchase can happen across multiple platforms.

“All of the inspirational content and the cross-sell intention and the brand building that used to happen on the homepage … fewer people are going there,” Stylitics founder and CEO Rohan Deuskar told PYMNTS in an interview last summer.

Earlier this year, Lynette Green, integrated marketing communications manager, omnichannel, for the USA and Canada at Brown-Forman, parent company of Jack Daniel’s, spoke to PYMNTS about how consumers increasingly expect to be able to shop whenever and wherever they may find that they want to purchase a given product.

“I think we’ve gotten into an age right now where consumers just expect brands to be wherever they are,” Green noted. “… We’ve gotten to the point where we just expect that anything that we’re going to want to buy or need or use will just be at our feet.”

Consumers want their online shopping experiences to be easy and immediate. The PYMNTS Intelligence report “The Online Features Driving Consumers to Shop With Brands, Retailers or Marketplaces,” which drew from a survey of more than 3,500 U.S. consumers, found that half of all shoppers consider how easy the checkout process is when selecting a digital merchant. Plus, 40% said the same about how easy to navigate the merchant’s online store is.

By integrating shopping opportunities into engaging content, retailers can meet consumers where they are and shorten the path to purchase. As shoppers come to expect more integrated, convenient shopping experiences, it seems likely that the role of shoppable content will only continue to grow.

For all PYMNTS retail coverage, subscribe to the daily Retail Newsletter.