Yahoo is delving deeper into e-commerce, but don’t expect a mirror image of The New York Times’ Wirecutter or New York Magazine’s The Strategist.
While Yahoo already has affiliate links in much of its content, which guides customers to the likes of Amazon and Walmart to complete a sale, its new venture Yahoo Shops, set to launch later this year, will be its own marketplace managing the entire purchase journey from beginning to end.
“It will be the first digital media marketplace anywhere with its own capabilities. We don’t see anybody doing that,” said Andrea Wasserman, head of global commerce at Verizon Media, which has owned Yahoo since 2017.
“There’s so much indication already that consumers want to be shopping with us. They tell us that they trust us, they vote with their dollars by clicking or tapping on our affiliate links and buying with the merchants that we send them to,” she continued. “So when we thought about what is the logical next step for us it really is taking our position as a digital media company and bridging that with native commerce capabilities.”
At its launch, Yahoo Shops will have about 50 brands including Woo Skin Essentials by Projectwoo, Golden Secrets and Act + Acre, but Wasserman is confident that it can quickly grow to hundreds and then thousands. She has also pledged that at least 15 percent of merchants will be Black-owned businesses, with plans to increase inclusion of other underrepresented groups in retail.
As for how the site will work, she explained that users will be able to directly purchase products featured in reviews, editorial roundups and shoppable video, while there will also be 3D try-ons. And later this year, Yahoo Shops will connect with a universal shopping cart across all of its platforms, from Engadget to Yahoo Sports.
“Eventually Yahoo Shops will connect the Yahoo ecosystem with a universal shopping cart. Say you’re reading about the best back to school gear on Yahoo Life, you can add a product from that curated list to your shopping cart, click onto another story, and so on. Users will be directed back to Yahoo Shops for check-out,” added Wasserman.
The launch of Yahoo Shops comes as parent company Verizon Media has premiered an expansion of its In The Know shopping network, with ITK Parenting and ITK Cooking. According to its own data, since 2020 Verizon has driven sales value for merchandise sold through content commerce, Yahoo Mail inbox shopping and more by 213 percent.
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