Industry Insights
April 2020
by GSG

How successful Commerce Content partnerships are formed through close collaboration between publishers and solution providers

  • Commerce Content partnerships: A natural collaboration
  • How publishers and solution providers complement each other in their partnership

All successful business partnerships share a number of characteristics. The expertise of both partners creates a value-adding synergy, there is a clear division of responsibilities and there is no confusion about who decides over what. This also applies to Commerce Content Partnerships that the Global Savings Group takes part in: a cooperation between publishers and GSG as a solution provider to offer consumers top quality online coupons, rewards, inspirational content, comparisons, or reviews. If such types of cooperations want to truly add benefit for users and rise above the masses of competing offers, they need to be partnerships in the truest sense of the word. Why do Commerce Content partnerships make sense and what does it take for them to be successful?  

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

Commerce Content partnerships: A natural collaboration

To start with, the relation between publishers and Commerce Content is far from new. Many people will still be familiar with the popular coupons section of print newspapers, as would their grandparents and even great-grandparents: Publishers have been offering their readers deals and shopping information since the early days of the 20th century. Good journalism is expensive and doesn’t finance itself. It doesn’t do so currently, but neither did it back in the days of print media. Accordingly, throughout the decades, Commerce Content that connects consumer information or deals with a commercial model became an important part of publishers’ offering to their readers as well as a revenue source that helped finance quality journalism.

Transferring the model of Commerce Content to the digital world brought challenges for publishers for building up newly needed expertise on how to create a quality offering and compete in the fast-evolving field of digital marketing. While their historic experience lied in the creation and distribution of high-quality print-content, digital formats would often need a high level of specialized technology, adapted processes, and the ability to adapt and innovate in a respective content niche fast. Commerce Content partnerships allowed publishers to enter this segment and create great experiences for their audience without the need to execute every element themselves. Cooperating with a solution provider such as GSG enabled publishers to outsource parts of the needed expertise, technology, and processes to experts of a content niche. This not only took a lot of highly technical work from the publishers’ hands but also allowed them to focus on their expertise and efforts, which makes economic sense, as it would be highly inefficient for publishers to build their own network of weather stations (for weather forecasts), traffic monitoring system (for traffic jam updates), horoscope or sudoku applications, etc.  

Photo by Driftime® Media on Unsplash

How publishers and solution providers complement each other in their partnership

Successful Commerce Content projects can only be achieved by truly offering high-quality content and added value to the user.

Therefore, partners need to work closely together in order to be able to leverage their respective strengths. Different formats of collaboration have emerged, reflecting different strategies and approaches to partnerships.

From the Global Savings Group’s perspective, a commonality to successful partnerships is that they are thought from the strategic value add of the cooperation to a publisher and its audiences. Publishers try to understand how this new content type can help their individual audiences in their shopping decisions and complement their existing products and offerings. This builds the basis for the definition of the partnership and its responsibilities. 

Frequent responsibilities and processes operated through the publisher found in our cooperations are:

  • Creation of guidelines around tone-of-voice, content publishing or advertisers exclusions and inclusions;
  • Definition of the User Interface, the look & feel and branding of the Commerce Content platform and offering;
  • Conception and implementation of user-flows cross different areas of the media portal and attached services like social media presence or apps, where a Commerce Content offering becomes part of;
  • Quality control of the content;
  • Transparency creation for audiences on the responsibilities of the cooperation;
  • Partial production of Commerce Content included in an offering;
  • Own Advertiser relations and individual deal negotiations.

GSG, as a Commerce Content solution provider frequently focuses on the following elements:

  • Delivery of the technical platform and a framework for User Experience, implementation of User Flows;
  • Provision and continued development of an advanced tech stack to collect, store, maintain and update a large amount of Commerce Content;
  • Commerce Content sourcing and creation;
  • Advertiser relations and deal negotiations;
  • Commercial processing, reliable tracking, and business development;
  • Delivery of campaigns and advanced marketing efforts attached to Commerce Content.

In the end, a Commerce Content partnership becomes successful when it puts emphasis on three dimensions:

  • A clear, joint focus on creating a great and unique experience for consumers, that stands out in the crowd of competing offers and is tied to the interests and needs of the audience of a publisher;
  • The leverage of individual strengths both partners are bringing into the cooperation to create efficiency and quality;
  • Close day-to-day cooperation to react to the needs of the audience as well as changes and innovation in the market. 


The power of the division of labor lies in creating higher efficiency and quality at the same time for the different market participants. What holds true in every industry, is also a core driver for the breadth and quality of the offerings media publishers create for their audiences. While some Commerce Content (e.g. editorial reviews) can turn out to be more efficient for publishers to create inhouse, others require complex technology, specialized knowledge, and/or processes (e.g. product comparisons, couponing platforms) to understand and effectively process significant data points, connections or personalization. Through the increase in efficiency and specialization, better offerings for consumers can be developed over time. We expect to see more partnerships emerging in this field in the future, as publishers would run in a natural limit to extend their offering when forced to develop all technologies and content inhouse, preventing them to further develop their products and to capture a share in the important revenues streams of the digital advertising market despite their strong significance for the consumer decision journey.

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