Commerce Tools & Tech

Introducing Sovrn Commerce

wknapp // December 10, 2018

sovrn acquires viglink

Stories stoke our interests and intentions.

Interests and intentions result in commerce.

Publishers are at the core of the modern consumer journey. The content they create drives billions of dollars in purchasing behavior annually, and generates the majority of consumer interest and intention. Stories, anecdotes, reviews, and references from trusted sources both off and online nurture our interests, affect our behaviors, and influence the consumers we become. Publishers know this. Marketers know this. Even so, most publishers capture only a thin slice of the commercial value they create, usually through the advertisements run on their sites.
Through the acquisition of VigLink, we’re bringing a suite of commerce products and services to publishers of all sizes. Today, these commerce products are employed by nearly 30,000 sites, and connect hundreds of millions of consumers to thousands of brands and online merchants. The result is nearly $1B in annual purchasing behavior.
To take advantage of that purchasing behavior, publishers generally implement one of three commerce solutions:

  1. Direct Sales
    In this scenario, a publisher sells products directly to consumers. The revenue margins can be high at 50% or more, but the headaches are many: collections, returns, inventory management, chargebacks, disputes, and other logistical difficulties can disrupt even the best Direct Sales revenue streams. The costs can quickly outweigh the benefits.
  2. Branded Storefronts
    Similar to Direct Sales, a Branded Storefront is an on-site store created by a publisher but fully operated by a third party. Margins are much lower at roughly 20%, but most of the headaches and operational overhead are gone. Unfortunately, these solutions come with limited inventory, require intense marketing and technology focus, and necessitate constant content-to-commerce modifications.
  3. Native Commerce
    Native Commerce offers by far the lowest overhead and offers with the most direct link between content and commerce. Revenue margins range between 5% and 10%. The native alignment of content-to-commerce is by far the highest, allowing for easy implementation and easy earnings. Increased volume, low operational overhead, and maximum inventory flexibility mean that the net value to a publisher is much higher than other commerce options.

Sovrn Commerce, which falls within the Native Commerce category, offers publishers a natural, streamlined way to earn directly from the content they create. It’s simpler than building a direct or branded storefront, and it comes with fewer headaches. It creates a direct link between a story and a consumer, allowing both readers and publishers to capitalize on the value of their relationship.
Sovrn operates a platform of products and services across more than 25,000 websites, and the acquisition of VigLink will bring the entire Sovrn portfolio to more than 50,000 sites with a reach of more than 250M daily active consumers. For publishers, Sovrn Commerce will offer the simplest, most effective way to earn more of the commercial value they generate.
Sovrn Commerce will allow publishers of all shapes and sizes to tap into the entire customer journey, rewarding them for the interest and intent they’ve created. This means more insights, more opportunities—and ultimately more revenue for the publishers that deserve it.
— Walter Knapp, CEO
To learn more, read the VigLink blog post and our official press release.

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