E-Commerce Sites Realizing They're Media Properties Too

from the blurring-lines dept

We’ve talked a lot about the fact that adveritisng is content and content is advertising. But, it seems worth mixing a bit of e-commerce into that story as well. As we’ve been noting (separately), many of the business models that work today have a strong direct-to-consumer component — giving them a “reason to buy.” And, in fact, here at Techdirt, we’ve begun to blur those lines ourselves — with various community offerings, including unique opportunities for companies to participate and/or sponsor online conversations, but also with our own CwF+RtB offering, which is really an e-commerce setup.

In the long run, business models are going to combine all these different elements. As we’ve noted, one of the key scarcities out there is attention — and that’s been the arena that the media business has always been in.

So perhaps it shouldn’t be all that surprising to see traditional e-commerce players beginning to realize this themselves from the other direction. That is, many large online retailers are suddenly recognizing that they get a lot of traffic and they can sell that traffic to advertisers (including advertisers from their own competitors) at a nice premium. Of course, I’m not convinced that traditional banner/text advertising will really be all that lucrative in the long term, but it would be interesting to see online retailers work harder at giving people additional reasons to visit their sites beyond just the products alone. We’ve seen some glimpses of this, such as when Amazon tried to do an online talk show, but I’d bet that we’re going to start seeing some much more creative online retail efforts that introduce “content” into the mix more effectively to create other types of scarcities.

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Comments on “E-Commerce Sites Realizing They're Media Properties Too”

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oh god

we dont need more copyright WE NEED LESS
if you had to pay a buck for each piece a everything a toaster would cost as much as house

again Americans trying to justify imaginary property just isn’t going to fly

i’m going to read a sci-fi novel now and when im done ill think of America’s quest for things that should not be.

Michael Bazelewick (profile) says:

Connecting With Consumers

I have been speaking with retail marketers trying to convince them that offline keyword links, not just to expanded product information, but content that might be of interest to a prospective purchaser … it’s like talking to a TV set.

Take a camera retailer for example, a direct link to the specs is nice, but why not to information on how to capture a lightning shot, or tips for shooting in the snow? Explain to me online the difference between an “F” stop and a bus stop. I know some sites have the information, but for some reason like to keep it a secret. Ever seen a sporting goods retailer offer up information on how to properly teach your kid to throw a ball, skate or hit a baseball?

My theory is every SKU should have a keyword link to an online page that lists care instructions, accessories, replacement parts and non-product information that would be of interest to an actual purchaser. I guess care instructions aren’t in a retailers best interest, they would rather you gray out and shrink the collars of shirts so they can sell you new ones. The retailer that says “we have information links on every product we sell to keep your purchase fitting well looking great for years” is positively connecting with consumers … reducing the importance of price as the deciding factor.

My take on retail marketers: basically lazy. Fill the store with crap, run pretty little ads and hope it sells or more importantly, win awards for the ads (and never again find a hat that fits). There is a reason the average tenure of a CMO is 18 months. If the buyers are extraordinarily lucky, hit the right price points and trends … a dog with a note around his neck could be the CMO 🙂

Hey BBQ retailers … “can I get a look at an assembly video BEFORE a purchase?” and planked salmon is great … any info on how to do it right?

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