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“Elevated levels of growth…likely to persist beyond the duration of the pandemic”: Why betting on eCommerce is a good idea for publishers

What's New in Publishing 26 Aug 2020 09:19

eCommerce continues to expand rapidly. It rose by 54% in the UK in July and accounted for 28% of sales, according to a recent GroupM report. “Growth was similar to the 55% pace of growth observed during the entire second quarter, suggesting that elevated levels of growth for eCommerce are likely to persist beyond the duration of the pandemic,” says Brian Wieser, Global President, Business Intelligence, GroupM. 

In the US, eCommerce rose by 47% on a comparable basis to data tracked in the UK. This was significantly ahead of the 15% growth rate observed during the first quarter. 

“A decade in eight weeks”

This remarkable growth has benefited publishers that sell or facilitate the sale of products or services online. For example, Hearst UK’s eCommerce revenue grew 322% during the second quarter this year, according to Digiday. New York Magazine’s shopping site, The Strategist, saw an 85% year-over-year increase in revenue during the second quarter. Marie Claire’s eCommerce revenue in the first seven months of 2020 was equal to what it generated for the entire 2019.

The publisher generated $300M in product sales last year. It is now aiming to create a sustainable revenue stream by building its own eCommerce platform and reduce reliance on affiliates. The strategy will also help BuzzFeed develop a more direct relationship with shoppers.

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