The French word for shop is 'magasin'. We reckon they're onto something, the French (beyond the nice art and the poodles and stuff), because magazines and retail go together like snails and garlic butter.
Except it's the wrong way round. Instead of publishers exerting their incredible influence and ready-made audiences to do something magical with retail, they've let the shopkeepers jump them gun on them and launch their own magazines.
It's time for the publishers to fight back, but making pennies from a cruddy bolt-on affiliate store is not the answer. Social commerce is the answer. Here's five big reasons why:
1) Social Commerce is a form of e-commerce that editors can get behind; it allows editorial teams to curate a product roster and add real value to an e-commerce offering.
2) At the same time, social commerce empowers readers rather than exploiting them. It helps grow community by rewarding readers instead of scaring them off with hard sales.
3) Rather than making a slim margin from sales (or an even smaller affiliate commission), social commerce campaigns can be sold to brands and advertisers as part of advertising packs or as stand-alone campaigns. In fact, social commerce is closer to traditional advertising than it is to traditional retail. Fees are not based on volume....
4) That's because social commerce isn’t a volume play. Commercial success for advertisers isn’t defined by the number of products sold, it’s defined by the leads and the buzz generated. But - and it's a huge but - this isn't a question of collecting buzz for its own sake, or growing 'Likes' because it looks good on a KPI report. When people share social commerce promotions, these are real customers and real warm leads with a proven propensity to buy.
And, most importantly:
5) It absolutely has to happen. Until now, publishers had two primary sources of income: traditional advertising revenue (now decimated, both on- and offline) and over-the-counter takings via circulation (again, crushed following competition from free online content and social media). And now, to make things even worse, retailers are producing magazines which outsell the biggest newspaper in the land.
War has been declared. We've got the weapons which publishers need to fight back (and we're already working with innovative first-movers like The Mirror and IPC). So get in touch, and get in the ring...