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Why publishers in APAC invest in Commerce content

Posted 1 month ago by Angus Quinn

Commerce content is on the move around the world. Nowhere more so in fact than in the Asia-Pacific region. In the past eighteen months, Skimlinks has gone live on 64 domains including Australia’s News Corporation and Pedestrian Media, Hearst and Verizon Media’s titles across the region, Conde Nast in Taiwan and the South China Morning Post.  These publishers are pioneering the revenue stream in the market, applying lessons Skimlinks has learned scaling the biggest players in the US & the UK to expedite their time to scale. 

Rose Tsou – Head of International, Verizon Media – has scaled their commerce efforts across the region. 

“Trust is our unique selling proposition” 

Tsou made that statement to Business Standard in October 2019. Then she was discussing Verizon’s plans for India, but it also reflects the brand’s investment in commerce as a revenue stream in recent years. 

Editorial publishers have reputations that in some instances stretch back centuries. Readers trust them, and in uncertain times, turn to them as a source of truth they can rely on. This is true in news reporting, but also in terms of product recommendations. 

Consumers have become more discerning and want to invest in products they know they’re going to like. Experts can verify what the quality products are and surface the best in class through commerce content. 

In a conversation with Skimlinks, Tsou added that commerce content can be, “a path that connects brands to consumers in a way that feels natural, is seamless and convenient.” 

“Users are looking for both information and inspiration” 

This point, made by Tsou with Campaign APAC in February 2020, is key. 

Commerce content can have a practical role to play. If someone is searching for an item, it can help them find the highest reviewed product, and an item that will improve their life. The most mundane product recommendations are often the most effective – in one instance a Skimlinks publisher wrote an article about nail clippers which sold millions of units. Another good example of an evergreen article is a buying guides for jeans. These articles on every day pieces will continue to generate revenue long after they were originally published. 

On the flip side, sometimes people shop for what they want rather than what they need. And here commerce content can help inspire people to be a better version of themselves. It can show them makeup they’d never have thought of buying, or recommend a new games console they can buy as a treat for themselves. Publishers around the world write on all kinds of categories and APAC is no exception here. Whether that’s a roundup of the top yellow trainers in Taiwan, or a feature on online education courses in Australia, commerce content is cropping up all over the region. 

“We don’t want advertising to be the only avenue to drive conversions” 

This is a maxim that drives the proliferation of commerce around the world. 

Publishers, wherever they are, want to diversify the ways they make revenue away from advertising-only models. Commerce is often a natural extension of content publishers already create. 

As Tsou said in an interview with Financial Express, “About 60% of our content has transactional…or commercial intent.”

A platform like Skimlinks can help publishers monetise this intent. Publishers can and should get rewarded for sales their product related content inspires. Our platform is a solution to do that automatically and at scale with 48,500 brands across the world. 

Rose says she sees the publisher’s role as being to “empower” commerce intent. Publishers are ideally placed to reach the right consumer, at the right time in their shopping journey, with the right inspiration to drive a sale. 

Commerce Content in APAC Summary

Publishers in Asia-Pacific have a great opportunity to capitalise on commerce. The market leads a global ecommerce boom, with forecast growth of 25% in 2020, which equates to 64.3% of all ecommerce shopping around the world. 

Here’s some key final takeaways for publishers: 

  • You need to scale commerce for it to be successful, where publishers can’t hire editors immediately, Skimlinks’ Editorial Network can supply quality commerce content to help your function scale 
  • A good mobile experience is vital: 90% of Southeast Asia’s internet users are on smartphones and your experience needs to be designed with that in mind
  • Collect insights on day of the week you publish to maximize yield and learn how many articles a day you need to drive real success. Skimlinks works hand-in-hand with partners in APAC to provide these insights and more.
  • Commerce is an opportunity for publishers to diversify their revenue streams and make money in a way that improves their readers’ editorial experience 

Skimlinks is here for any publishers keen to pursue commerce. 

Skimlinks chosen by 20 new enterprise accounts including Vice and Verizon Media to scale commerce content globally

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