Top Ecommerce Tools for Magazine Publishers

In this guide, you’ll find a list of the top ecommerce tools for magazine publishers.

Buzzfeed’s recent expansion into ecommerce hasn’t gone unnoticed within the publishing community. Although the digital publishing powerhouse seems to be taking ecommerce to the extreme—Buzzfeed launched a dedicated social commerce division, BuzzFeed Commerce, in 2016, and has since generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue through ecommerce channels—online magazine publishers have been using many of these same techniques to generate revenue for years.

Publications like New York magazine, The Economist, and Marie Claire have a long history of making money off of product recommendations and ecommerce sales. While display advertising and subscriptions are still the biggest drivers of revenue for most print and digital magazine publishers, there is growing interest among publishers in adding ecommerce to the revenue stack.

Even the largest magazine publishers can stumble when they launch ecommerce programs on their own. That’s one of the reasons why magazine publishers usually pick a few platform partners or technology providers to work with on the delivery and implementation of their ecommerce strategies.

In this guide, we have put together a list of some of the most popular ecommerce tools for magazine publishers.

Top Ecommerce Tools for Magazine Publishers

1. StackCommerce
StackCommerce is a platform that digital publishers can use to manage their “native commerce” strategies. StackCommerce finds brands that are interested in working with its publishing clients, it uses data to optimize product selection based on each publisher’s audience demographics and buying behaviors, and it guides its publishing partners in the best ways to promote products via native commerce content and integrated feeds. Readers complete their purchases in branded storefronts, and magazine publishers earn a percentage of each sale. StackCommerce works with more than 750 publishers, including in a variety of niches.

2. Shopify
Shopify is one of the biggest ecommerce platforms on the market, used not just by publishers, but also by small, mid-size, and even large online retailers. Publishers can use Shopify to launch their own branded online stores, similar to this online store developed by The New York Times. In its online store, The New York Times sells branded goods, books, archival photography, and personalized front page reprints. Shopify also offers a plugin that publishers who run their websites on WordPress can use to more easily sell digital and physical products online.

3. Amazon
The global retail giant is gradually moving into the world of publishing, forming partnerships with a number of top magazine publishers and running a popular affiliate marketing program with smaller, niche publications. Amazon’s Associates Program serves as a marketing tool for publishers who sell products on the platform. Publishers can drive traffic from their websites to specific products on Amazon, which gives readers an easier way to purchase products through a checkout system they’re already comfortable using. Like other ecommerce tools for magazine publishers on this list, Amazon also maintains a WordPress plugin. Amazon’s plugin helps publishers integrate products into their websites.

4. WooCommerce
WooCommerce is another popular ecommerce platform, with a WordPress plugin that publishers can use to quickly build online stores with custom product, cart, and checkout pages. Because WooCommerce works on top of WordPress, the platform integrates commerce into a publisher’s existing content. Publishers have the option to choose from free or paid extensions, which add features and integrate with local and global ecommerce web services. Being open source means that publishers, or their development partners, can customize every aspect of their online stores and sell both digital and physical goods.

5. Pretty Links
Pretty Links in a WordPress plugin that publishers can use to squeeze more revenue from their existing website content. Instead of managing affiliate links manually, publishers who use the Pretty Links plugin can have affiliate links placed “intelligently” (and automatically) throughout their content. The plugin is especially useful for digital magazines that publish across multiple platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and email newsletters. Links are always accessible through the WordPress website’s admin interface, and publishers have the ability to group, sort, search, and track clicks for each of the links they post.

Have you tried any of these ecommerce tools for magazine publisher? Send us an email and let us know which of these tools has worked best for you.