In part three of our series with News Corp Australia, Jade McDade, Head of E-Commerce- Audience and Partners, talks to us about their retailer strategy. How they choose which retailers to write about and what they need from retailers.
With your audience first strategy, what do you look for when choosing retailers to work with?
Jade: We invest heavily in building the relationship and trust with our audience, so it’s important to us that we send them to a retailer that is going to give them a good experience.
When we send a reader to retailer, we always assess:
- Is this a retailer with a good conversion rate?
- Is the shipping experience and delivery times good?
- Will there be enough products in stock?
- Is their pricing competitive?
We want to ensure that we are sending our readers to retailers who will give them a great customer experience, and that we are driving new customers for that retailer by introducing our readers to retailers they might not be aware of yet.
Obviously we need to ensure we’re running a profitable operation, so we also take into consideration which retailer offers us the best commission rate and have additional budget available for increased exposure.
Although commission rate is one of our key commercial measures, if a retailer gives us a 50% commission rate and the audience doesn’t convert and purchase anything, then that’s not a suitable retailer for us to partner with as it’s clear that retailer doesn’t resonate with our audience.
When choosing retailers to write about, we always take into consideration a combination of the commission rate and the conversion rate as those are indicators of the health of the audience and commercial partnership.
You are the biggest media company in Australia, retailers want to be featured on your sites, what can retailers do to stand out?
Jade: The first thing that’s important is that they understand the different audiences for each of our brands and surface appropriate products and offers to us. Products that will sell well to the Vogue audience will be different to Kidspot. And we’ve found that deals work really well on news.com.au. This particular audience loves well known brands, but don’t want to pay full price, so good discounts on popular brand name products convert really well.
The big one is sharing information with us as far in advance as possible. We plan our content, four to six weeks in advance. We appreciate it’s challenging when deals are often only released at the last minute, but the longer lead time we get the more time the retailer has to get their deals noticed as the more we can publish.
Sharing best selling products and categories is important also. Having those proof points that we can share with our audience works really well. An example of an article that performed really well for us on Vogue was written about all of the best selling products from a specific retailer for that season.
You write a lot about Australian brands but you also feature International brands, what are you looking for when choosing International retailers?
Shipping time and cost. That’s the single most important thing we look for with International retailers.
With higher priced products, great discounts or exclusive items readers are often happy to pay slightly more on shipping, but it’s not just about shipping costs. The overall shipping experience is important. We look at how long it will take to ship the products to Australia as this is incredibly important now during a pandemic that’s resulted in a dramatic decline in flights into Australia. Will it take three days or will it take six weeks? Is the retailer shipping via a courier or the postal service? The shipping costs need to be low and the shipping times need to be good.
We also look for International retailers that have something in stock that we don’t have in Australia. We love discovering really unique products that you can’t get anywhere else. Our audience responds to that because we are offering them something new and different that they haven’t seen before.