The Publisher's Guide to eCommerce: Case Studies

What’s New in Publishing 2020

30 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2020

See all articles by Damian Radcliffe

Damian Radcliffe

University of Oregon, School of Journalism and Communication; Cardiff University, School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies; The Tow Center for Digital Journalism part of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University

Date Written: June 8, 2020

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected most industries, including the publishing and media sectors. Arguably, the advertising downturn associated with the pandemic makes it clearer than ever that companies need to diversify their revenue streams.

Facing an "extinction event," as the current crisis has been called, may encourage publishers
to look again at eCommerce and its potential.

In doing this, it makes strategic sense for publishers to identify propositions which build on their existing relationship with audiences; and which play to their strengths. Audience data and insights, coupled with trust and name recognition, are valuable commodities which can be harnessed to support eCommerce activities.

Historically, as BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti noted at the start of 2020, media companies have not done a good job of this. “….A longstanding problem in the media industry where content creators provide the inspiration to buy a new product, go on a vacation, or watch a new show–but don’t capture much of the economic value created," he argued. "This is sometimes referred to as the “attribution problem,” where Google and other middlemen end up capturing value they didn’t create. We see a real opportunity for us to reclaim some of that profit.”

Peretti, as this new report shows, is not alone in this optimism. If publishers can further understand, and anticipate, the user journey - including the role of content as a driver for purchase decisions - then this remains a firm foundation on which eCommerce products and properties can be built.

Keywords: ecommerce, COVID-19, coronavirus, media, internet, digital, digital media, online shopping, online retail, publishing, business models, media economics

JEL Classification: A00, A10, E20, E29, F60, M00, M20, M21, M30, M31, M37, M39, P00, 03, 031, 035, 039, 050, Z1, Z10

Suggested Citation

Radcliffe, Damian, The Publisher's Guide to eCommerce: Case Studies (June 8, 2020). What’s New in Publishing 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3697686

Damian Radcliffe (Contact Author)

University of Oregon, School of Journalism and Communication ( email )

1280 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403
United States

HOME PAGE: http://journalism.uoregon.edu/member/radcliffe-damian/

Cardiff University, School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies ( email )

Aberconway Building
Colum Drive
Cardiff, Wales CF10 3EU
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/people/view/201298-radcliffe-damian

The Tow Center for Digital Journalism part of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

HOME PAGE: http://towcenter.org/academics/damian-radcliffe/

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