New Revenue Opportunities with E-commerce

Figuring out the best ways to monetize digital is a hot topic for niche publishers these days.

Have you explored other product revenue opportunities out there for your online store? Don’t have one yet?

E-commerce channels are super-creative revenue streams and can be one of the easiest ways to build audience, collect demographics and make money.

We recently interviewed Meg Estevez, Vice President and Corporate Director of Audience Development at NewBay Media, about how to launch an e-commerce store, partner with advertisers for more products, and common pitfalls to avoid.

For niche publishers that want to launch an e-commerce store, where should they start? Can you share some good guidelines to follow?

Meg: “They should start to research what type of items they want to sell on the store. Initial thought can be given to any existing reports that the brands produce that can be repackaged. Other ideas are any special physical books or items that the company produces regularly that can be sold on the store. The idea is to build a road map of what this online store is going to offer. Once you have that, you can figure out who the audience will be. Who will buy from your store and do you currently have access to these people within your database? 

Can you share some real-world examples of advertiser partnerships that have worked really well to drive online store revenue?

Meg: “We currently have an agreement with one of our advertisers where we purchase items from their store at a discount and in turn we can sell those items on our store.  This has been successful because it has allowed us to add different/special items to our store to keep it fresh, up to date and interesting for our buyers.

If you don’t want to incur the cost of purchasing the products up front and paying inventory fees at your fulfillment house–then you can opt to go into a revenue share agreement with an advertiser. This works by you selling their items on your store; but the advertiser fulfills it.”

What are some common pitfalls for publishers to avoid in their e-commerce space?

Meg: “The most important thing to avoid is going into a long term contract with a fulfillment company that is charging you for every little thing.  This will hurt the growth of the store in the long run. Sometimes we make decisions because we are in a hurry to move things along, and when we finally sit down to analyze we realize that it would have been better to do more research and find the right fulfillment partner for the venture.”

What trends do you see coming? Any new creative revenue streams we should be on the lookout for?

Meg: “We see videos about lessons or how-to’s as something to keep an eye on.  People are going more and more to You Tube for these things but many want to view their lessons or how-to videos without interruption.  Taking our DVD to the next level and getting more creative on how we deliver the lessons from our DVDs to our consumers will be imperative for the growth of our online store. Looking into creating OTT apps that offer a service and selling these through the store is something that we are strongly looking into as well.”


Editor’s note: Meg will be leading the session, Build It and They Will Shop! How to Develop Your Brand’s Online Store, at Super Niche, March 27-29 in Charlotte.


More about Meg: Meg Estevez is Vice President/Corporate Director of Audience Development at NewBay Media. She is responsible for audience marketing and operations including budgeting for NewBay’s 20+ B2B and consumer brands, including Guitar Player, Tech & Learning. Leading a team of marketers, Meg executes multi-channel marketing strategies that include print, digital, events, social media, email, content marketing, lead gen.


About this blogger: Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Niche Media. A former sales director and corporate marketing hack, she has now found nirvana in writing and wrangling quality content. Diana is a food, wine, art and SF Giants enthusiast…who sometimes gets carried away.


Niche Media has the best events, education, and training in media! Our super niched-out events & content give target-audience publishers in the B2C, hobbyist, B2B, city & regional, and association markets the tools they need to build revenue, audience, and more.