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Publishers: You’re in the Driver’s Seat of E-commerce — and Driving Twice as Fast

Our analysis of comScore’s recently reported holiday e-commerce figures shows that while holiday e-commerce as a whole grew 14% over 2011, “content-driven commerce” —  defined as e-retail sales linked from blogs, forums and social curation sites (aka your world)  — grew more than twice as fast, at 31%. (See our related press release for details.)

Congratulations — it’s a pretty big achievement for VigLink publishers. What does this really mean to you?

  1. You are the driver of consumer spend in the e-commerce equation. Your influence – your brand – is changing buyer behavior. Content-driven commerce is real and growing. In a recent BlogHer survey about women and their social media habits, 81% of women representing the general U.S. population said they trusted blogs most to learn about new products, to read product recommendations and make purchase decisions. For forums, the influence is tangible, as well: More than 53% of respondents in a survey from Huddler (a fellow VigLink customer) reported that they had made purchases in the past 12 months as a direct result of doing research on enthusiast communities. Social curation apps like Wanelo, ranked in the top 50 on iTunes’ App Store, and similar sites are exploding as a means of personal/consumer expression.
  1. Consumers want to shop through your “vision” — and merchants want to tap into your influence to reach them. Consumers are tired of intrusive, distracting, and generally irrelevant advertising in traditional forms. Brands and e-retailers are realizing that affiliation with a curated blog or community that has a loyal audience is much more cost efficient and effective than banner and pop-up ads. Once garnering a click through rate (CTR) as high as 78%, today display ads generate a CTR of just 0.09%. Your context is valuable, results in strong commission rates and true audience engagement.
  1. Our momentum pays off for you directly. In 2012, we quadrupled our publisher base and more than doubled our merchant base, now capturing over 90% of the affiliate programs within the Internet Retailer Top 500. As more publishers use VigLink, the network’s value to merchants grows, enabling higher commissions.

We’ll continue to analyze the power of content-driven commerce, giving you stats and practical advice on how to “merchandise” your influence to greatest profits. (In the meantime, check out some tips inspired by Shauna Miller of PennyChic fame, here.)How are you measuring your impact? In followers, revenues, or both? Tell us! We’re only a tweet away. 

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