Vogue Scandinavia Launches Spotin’s Next Generation Content Commerce Technology | What’s New in Publishing

On the edge of Northern Europe, 40 miles south of the Arctic Circle, lies an innovation in e-commerce pioneered by some of the most famous names in publishing. The technology in question was developed by Spotin, based in Luleå, Sweden, and involves what they call “frictionless content commerce”.

At last month’s FIPP World Media Congress in Cascais, Portugal, WNIP sat down with Spotin Founder and CEO Kristoffer Karlsson to learn more about a technology that not only promises to generate e-commerce revenue for publishers , but mostly to keep users on a publisher’s own site.

We started by asking Karlsson what the technology entails: “We call our technology ‘frictionless content commerce’ because it allows a publisher to offer products anywhere on their site and allow payment on the spot, without links or redirects. In short, it keeps users on a publisher’s site instead of sending them elsewhere. It’s a seamless shopping experience that publishers of all sizes can use. »

Most publishing revenue models have been built around traffic, but Spotin reverses that by creating a single destination for content and purchases. By keeping traffic on your own site, it becomes much more valuable.

Kristoffer Karlsson, Founder and CEO, Spotin

The technology works by placing a subtle “blue spot” (or in the case of Vogue Scandinavia, a white spot) on selected images. Hovering over the image then opens a commerce layer where the product can be purchased directly, or as Karlsson describes it, “it’s an in-content checkout experience that allows the point of discovery to become the point of sale” .

First test results

The technology has now been pioneered by a number of publishers, including Swedish publishing giant, Bonnier AB, and its Vogue Scandinavia brand (under license from Condé Nast).

As for the early results, Karlsson says it depends on how the data is measured: “It would be easy for me to say we saw a 3x increase, but that would be dishonest. Statistics are easily influenced – results depend on content, audience and product.

“Comments are what we’re looking for, and so far they’ve been good. Publishers have been surprised by how quickly we can set up their e-commerce pages using our technology. I prefer to work with evidence and we are continually working on improving the call to action, button links and everything else.

Vogue Scandinavia uses Spotin technology

Spotin is continually building its knowledge bank on how and where its technology is used, and this pool of data is fed back to publishers, for example, in terms of which images work best and why.

We are continually developing the service and a key part of our roadmap is to work with publishers to find out how we can further improve the technology and user experience. It’s a two-way conversation because we have a lot to learn from publishers and vice versa.

Kristoffer Karlsson, Founder and CEO, Spotin


That’s not to say the technology doesn’t come with its own set of challenges. One hurdle is that publishers need to become more adept at producing commercial content, while another is that Spotin is fully optimized, website layouts should ideally fall somewhere between print and digital, “There is a lot of expertise developed around print layouts and some of it needs to be integrated in web design for e-commerce to be fully exploited.”

Another challenge is that Spotin’s technology does not involve affiliate links or redirects, which means the publisher must have existing direct relationships with their selected brands, “It can be quite laborious, but we have gateways for each customer and technical integration with each brand. Is simple.

Many publishers have relationships with brands, and our technology deepens the relationship and makes it more valuable.

Kristoffer Karlsson, Founder and CEO, Spotin

For publishers willing to work hard, however, early results look promising. More publishers are joining the platform every month and Karlsson is quick to point out that by keeping users on a website, audience value is magnified: “You have to ask yourself why audiences are on a publisher’s website? This is because they enjoy content discovery. By using Spotin, publishers can maximize and grow this relationship instead of sending traffic and revenue to third parties. »