By AdExchanger

The Sell Sider is a column written by the sell side of the digital media community.

Today’s column is written by Greg Mason, CEO at Purch.

The New York Times made its own headlines when it recently acquired Wirecutter, the five-year-old online product review site, for an estimated $30 million.

For one of the world’s biggest and most respected publishers, the acquisition of a niche site like Wirecutter is a low-risk and small-scale investment and builds on its roots in service journalism, as reflected in its news and lifestyle coverage. The New York Times sees itself as an essential service and Wirecutter is an extension of its commitment to servicing users.

But the real reason for the acquisition pertains to publishers’ concerns about the future of the traditional advertising market. Wirecutter is a way to combat this. It’s a very utilitarian site, and with so many lifestyle sites and general content, these niche plays that go beyond entertainment have tangible value, particularly to augment a generalist media entity.

The New York Times realizes the value of serving a lower-funnel audience with purchase intent and the money to be made off this model. The Times’ readers are not coming to the site with a purchase in mind, but that’s their intention when they visit Wirecutter. The acquisition is a way for the publisher to get a slice of this ecommerce spend – on content where it makes sense.

The Times and other publishers aren’t just suffering from the decline of print ad dollars. They simply aren’t seeing the growth they expected or need from digital ads. Facebook and Google are taking 70 cents on every new digital ad dollar and the fight for the remaining 30 cents is hypercompetitive.

Clearly, the Times wants to diversify its monetization and revenue lines. Acquisition is the quickest way to do so, but The New York Times will now have to think about strategically linking the systems or whether to keep Wirecutter as a standalone brand.

It’s not just the Times that is looking to diversify. More publishers are wading into ecommerce and affiliate waters because it’s a lucrative business when done right. I would advise them to do so cautiously.

Publishers can’t add affiliate links and buy buttons to their pages and expect new revenue automatically. Wirecutter serves a very unique purpose and attracts a very specific audience that is looking for specific content. For publishers that have built a following based on general news or entertainment, the same strategies do not apply. Like the Times, it’s important to consider the users’ standpoint, thinking first of their needs and how publishers can service them before weaving in affiliate links and buy buttons in a contextual way.

This sort of monetization belongs on low-funnel content that attracts consumers making buying decisions, rather than general news pages where buy buttons and affiliate links would appear out of context and feel more like an ad than a native, helpful tool.

Before trying to marry content and commerce, publishers must first ensure the ecommerce strategy extends directly from their core content strategy. Publishers must ask themselves where the natural bridges for commerce exist and what products and services actually extend their brand mission overall. They must also have a deep enough understanding of the core demographic profile or interests of their audience to truly provide a valuable service.

Then there’s the consideration of integrity. With all forms of advertising, there must be a separation of church and state with editorial on one side and advertising on another. With affiliate marketing, publishers must also be transparent about how they’re making money so users understand this model. Consumer expectations are evolving and they commonly see affiliate links all over the internet. The key to maintaining trust and integrity is clear communication and sitewide rules for placement and usage of affiliate links.

Read the full article here: https://adexchanger.com/the-sell-sider/publishers-beware-wading-ecommerce-waters/

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PURCH ACQUIRES MOSAICHUB TO EXPAND CORE DECISION-ENABLEMENT PLATFORM

SMB community connects small business owners with expert advice, services and resources to build and grow successful businesses

NEW YORK, July 6, 2016 – Purch, a digital content and commerce company that helps 100MM users make better buying decisions, today announced it has acquired mosaicHUB, a platform that connects SMBs with expert advice and resources to build and grow successful businesses. The acquisition deepens Purch’s core decision-enablement strategy, which now supports over 1,200 categories spanning consumer electronics, technology, home, outdoor, health and more.

The acquisition allows Purch to integrate mosaicHUB’s expert community with actionable content from Business News Daily, Tom’s IT Pro and its recently-acquired Business.com, as well as BuyerZone, a trusted online marketplace for over one million buyers and 8,500 sellers of SMB products and services. This unique integration of resources will provide a single hub for real-time advice on growing a business, insight on the tools and technology to create operational efficiencies, and an ecommerce platform to purchase them through. It will both drive and simplify complex purchase decisions for SMBs.

“Our business model of high quality content and decision-enablement services positions us directly in the middle of a commerce transaction for in-market buyers across a diverse range of categories and verticals,” continued Greg Mason, CEO of Purch. “It is a service that’s in-demand and has proven tremendously successful, which is why we’ve continued the aggressive expansion of our strategy of making complex purchase decisions easier. The SMB business owner is yet another consumer audience whose needs we’re addressing.”

“mosaicHUB has a highly engaged community of SMB leaders relying on experts for advice on the saturated SMB services and technology market they must navigate as they grow,” said Mary-Alice Miller, Founder & CEO, mosaicHUB. “Our mission fits perfectly with Purch’s and, together, will provide business owners unparalleled access to decision support tools and intelligence to build a successful business.”

To learn more about Purch and its owned and operated sites, please visit www.purch.com.

About Purch

Purch is a digital content and commerce company that helps 100MM+ users make better buying decisions by arming them with information and tools to make the right purchases for their needs. It’s portfolio of distinctive editorial, mobile, and shopper services brands include: Top Ten Reviews, Tom’s Guide, Tom’s Hardware, Live Science, Shop Savvy, Purchx, Purch Marketplace, and more.

The company’s performance and data-driven approach has attracted more than 7000 marketing partners, including AT&T, Verizon, Samsung, Dell, LG, and many more – and drives more than $1 billion in commerce transactions, annually.

Purch is a high-growth, privately held company with more than 350 employees and offices across the U.S. and Europe. For more information on Purch, visit www.purch.com or follow the company on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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Media Contact:

Sarah Borup

SHIFT Communications

purch@shiftcomm.com

617-779-1830

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By Teresa Novellino

Purch, a New York-based digital content and commerce company that aims to help users make informed buying decisions through sites it runs such as Top Ten Reviews and Mobile Nation, today announced it has acquired Business.com, an online portal for small- to mid-sized businesses.

A spokesperson said terms of the acquisition of the Carlsbad, California-based company would not be disclosed.

The deal expands Purch’s content-meets-commerce approach to 1,200 categories spanning consumer electronics, technology, home, outdoor, health and more. It also lets Purch take a crack at increasing its revenues through the 28 million small businesses that exist nationwide, a segment that makes up 55 percent of all jobs.

“As Purch continues to build services that help business owners grow and be successful, Business.com’s content assets help us provide even more value to the existing 10 million SMBs who have sought detailed purchase advice through our services,” Greg Mason, CEO of Purch said in a statement.

Read the full article here: http://www.bizjournals.com/newyork/news/2016/06/22/commerce-media-biz-purch-picks-up-business-dot-com.html

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By Anthony Ha

Digital media company Purch has acquired Business.com — which, in addition to being a pretty great URL, offers advice and other content for small businesses and operates a marketplace for business products and services.

Purch owns a number of product-focused sites, including Tom’s Guide and AnandTech. It raised a $135 million round last year and has continued to grow its portfolio through acquisitions since then, most recently by buying mobile shopping startup ShopSavvy.

As for Business.com, it was founded back in 1999 and is currently run by Resource Nation, which acquired the brand and assets (with funding from JMI Equity) back in 2011.

Read the full article here: https://techcrunch.com/2016/06/22/purch-acquires-business-com/

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Expansion of brand portfolio empowers small businesses to compete in today’s complex market, accelerates core decision-enablement strategy

NEW YORK, June 22, 2016 – Purch, a digital content and commerce company that helps 100MM users make better buying decisions, today announced it has acquired Business.com, a leading online resource portal for small- to mid-sized businesses. With 28 million small businesses in the U.S., making up 55% of all jobs, the acquisition strengthens Purch’s ability to serve a booming market, giving SMBs access to the intelligence, products and services to run and grow their businesses.

The deal expands Purch’s omni-category approach to decision enablement – the company is now in over 1,200 categories spanning consumer electronics, technology, home, outdoor, health and more. The transaction also allows Purch to further extend its successful, and scalable, content and commerce business model into the lucrative SMB market – a key audience segment for the growing company.

“Small business represents the backbone of our economy. As Purch continues to build services that help business owners grow and be successful, Business.com’s content assets help us provide even more value to the existing 10 million SMBs who have sought detailed purchase advice through our services,” said Greg Mason, CEO of Purch. “The addition of Business.com to our robust suite of brands and services significantly accelerates our core decision enablement strategy.”

The acquisition builds upon Purch’s existing assets that serve SMBs, including BuyerZone, the leading online service that connects SMB buyers and sellers, and Business News Daily, which provides actionable ideas, inspiration and solutions for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Combined, the resources of Business.com and Purch are crucial for SMBs to navigate complex buying decisions, tap into the deep knowledge of subject matter experts and gain a competitive advantage.

 

“In addition to educating small business owners through content, Purch is redefining the marketplace for SMB purchases by making it easier for buyers to discover, learn about, compare and buy products and services they need to run and expand their businesses,” added Mason. “This ties directly to our business model – using high-value content and services to support and drive commerce. As SMBs are faced with an overwhelming number of choices and an onslaught of new products and services, we’re arming them with first-hand insight from highly regarded experts and peers.”

 

“Business.com has built a loyal user base of small business owners who rely on us for trusted advice, robust content and tools to grow – from management tips to the best mobile apps,” said Tony Uphoff, CEO of Business.com. “Given Purch’s complementary business model of combining content and commerce to enable users to make the best buying decisions, and its growing focus on SMBs, uniting our knowledge and databases made strategic sense.”

 

To learn more about Purch and its owned and operated sites, please visit www.purch.com.

 

About Purch

Purch is a digital content and commerce company that helps 100MM+ users make better buying decisions by arming them with information and tools to make the right purchases for their needs. It’s portfolio of distinctive editorial, mobile, and shopper services brands include: Top Ten Reviews, Tom’s Guide, Tom’s Hardware, Live Science, Shop Savvy, Purchx, Purch Marketplace, and more.

The company’s performance and data-driven approach has attracted more than 7000 marketing partners, including AT&T, Verizon, Samsung, Dell, LG, and many more – and drives more than $1 billion in commerce transactions, annually.

Purch is a high-growth, privately held company with more than 350 employees and offices across the U.S. and Europe. For more information on Purch, visit www.purch.com or follow the company on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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Media Contact:

Meg Byers

SHIFT Communications

purch@shiftcomm.com

617-779-1830

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