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Author: Katy Logan

Content Is King: 5 Incredible Stories from Our Partners in 2016

Content Is King: 5 Incredible Stories from Our Partners in 2016

2016 marked a transformative year for publisher monetization. Facebook’s algorithm shift was a lesson in ‘expecting the unexpected’, and The New York Times’ acquisition of The Wirecutter a lesson in ‘doing as the giants do’. The decline of traditional display ads continued steadily, and the rise of native advertising content accelerated above and beyond predictions.

We’re proud to be at the forefront of this evolutionary time, and excited to see what 2017 will have in store. To celebrate the end of a year marked by spectacular native content, we’re sharing 5 incredible stories from our publisher partners.

Engadget: The essential VPN buyers guide



This deep dive into VPN usage delivers an informative look at the increasing importance of these protective services. From how a VPN actually works to how to choose the right VPN for your online habits, this article successfully delivered an important message to their readers at a highly relevant moment in digital security.


The Daily Dot: Semi Automatic Rubber Band Guns



Content, of course, is not limited to words and punctuation, and the Daily Dot proved the unbridled potential for Facebook video as a medium for publisher monetization in 2016. This “snackable” video showcasing the use of a retro-style rubber band gun has drawn over 2 million views, proving one should never underestimate the appeal of an old fashion office rubber band fight. 5 reasons you shouldn’t drive without a dashcam



With an influx of dashcam footage surfacing in the mainstream media, AOL tapped into this growing trend with a piece centered around practical use cases of a dashcam. From recording fender benders in the parking lot to fighting insurance fraud, this article speaks to even the least tech-savvy of drivers.


Digg: 8 Stocking Stuffer Gifts That Do Not Suck



Digg successfully mastered the art of the listicle with its unique holiday ode to the stocking stuffer. A much needed breath of fresh air from the typical gift guide, this holiday roundup offered up Magnetic Space Putty and a Toilet Bowl Light as clever alternatives to the typical socks and dental floss.


The Huffington Post: This Wine Club Is Starting a Revolution



In 2016, President Obama raised a glass of Pezo do Rei Ribeira Sacra, instantly popularizing this Spanish wine and its region of origin. This piece from the Huffington Post touches on the importance of a wine’s story (in addition to its taste) and introduces a wine club that’s out to do just that with every delivery.

Stack Speaker Series: 5 Lessons from Omaze Co-Founder and Co-CEO Matt Pohlson

Stack Speaker Series: 5 Lessons from Omaze Co-Founder and Co-CEO Matt Pohlson

What would you give to be an extra in Star Wars: Episode VII or “blow sh*t up” with Arnold Schwarzenegger? These once in a lifetime experiences are how local LA startup Omaze raises funds and awareness for the world’s best nonprofit organizations – and we were lucky enough to spend an hour with Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Matt Pohlson.

The Stack Speaker Series is a quarterly event here at StackCommerce, during which the team has the opportunity to pick the brains of amazing leaders, innovators, and angel investors in the Silicon Beach area. Read on for the the top 5 lessons we learned while lunching with Omaze Co-CEO, Matt Pohlson:

  1. Experiment with multiple platforms

    Like many startups, Omaze didn’t find its success right out of the gate. Their first campaign with the show “Cupcake Wars” didn’t yield the proceeds they had expected. So what turned the corner? Getting the word out in the right places. Facebook, radio, video, PR: all of these platforms proved essential for growth from that point forward.

  2. Don’t underestimate the power of humor

    Infusing humor into content, whether it be campaign videos or blog posts, is a great way to increase shareability and the chances of virality. The key: make consumers want to engage with your content – it goes a long way.

  3. Don’t assume each audience is the same

    At Omaze, each campaign beckons a distinct audience and strategy. For example: if you’re running a campaign targeted at gamers, try gamifying the entry process. Running a campaign with a TV show? Put resources into video content. Know your audience and speak their language.

  4. Hire mindfully

    If even a small part of you doesn’t feel a hire is right, chances are it won’t be. When it comes to the formative years of a startup, the team is everything.

  5. Keep Learning 

    Cultivate a growth mindset. Surround yourself with advisors and continue to learn and evolve with every challenge.

Special Edition: StackCommerce September Product Update

Special Edition: StackCommerce September Product Update

You asked, we listened. We’re thrilled to introduce our new JavaScript Dealfeed Widget! With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holidays around the corner, it’s the perfect time to double down on your commerce strategy. This easy-to-install widget will add an additional incremental revenue stream to your earnings, and deliver benefits that your traditional display ad cannot offer. Read on to explore the perks of adding this tool to your commerce strategy today:

Bypass Ad Blockers

While traditional display ads are often times rendered obsolete by the increasing use of ad blockers, our JS widget is not affected.

Get a Custom Look & Feel

We are committed to upholding the integrity of your brand, and this widget is no exception. Adjust the image and font size, color, choose specific product categories, and more. Even choose whether to display the percent discount or the price. Commerce is not one-size-fit all, and we’re here to help you optimize your widget to fit your audience. Try it out here!

Quickly Set Up & View a Live Preview

Installation is as easy as copy and paste with the provided JavaScript snippet. You’ll also always have the ability to preview your widget before it goes live. Make sure you’ve customized it to match your site, and make any last minute adjustments before pressing go!

Choose a Custom Placement

With the JS widget, you’re not locked into any specific placement on your page. The widget supports both horizontal and vertical layouts, and offers three different vertical view types: large, medium, and grid. Play around with placement to make it work with your site and audience.

Offer Relevant Products & Increase Earnings

Most importantly, the JS widget is one more way that we are working to help you monetize in a way that makes you proud. You’ll have the ability to offer unique, relevant products to your readers. No filling your site with products and images that are out of your control – grow your earnings with meaningful commerce.

Contact your Account Manager today to sign up!

More Exciting Updates (Yes, There’s More!)

New Redemption Flow: Freebies


Free products are an amazing way for partners to gain new users, and we’re continually optimizing the process to make it even more effective. This month, we transformed a 5-step process into a 2 step process! Redeeming a freebie is easier than ever, and our amazing freebies including BarkBox, Audible, and a 10-app Mac bundle, are sure to bring in new users.


Just Launched: Wishlist Email Campaign


Customers are loving and using the Wishlist, and our brand new Wishlist Email Campaign will allow you to capitalize on this feature even further. We will now send triggered emails alerting customers when an item on their Wishlist is selling out or ending soon. Start turning one-time customers into loyal customers with this new feature.


New Look: Sold Out Deals


Customers may land on a sold out deal from time-to-time, but that shouldn’t signal the end of their shopping experience. A “View Similar Items” button will now allow customers to redirect to exciting, relevant deals.


What Does Native Advertising Mean For Journalists?

What Does Native Advertising Mean For Journalists?

Separation of church and state. It may be a long standing political issue, but it’s brand new to the world of journalism. As publishers shift from paper to web, and advertising strategies shift from traditional to native ads, the question of marketing content creation rears its ugly head. Should journalists be asked to take on the burden of creating sponsored articles in order to keep their employers afloat (and their jobs secured)?

The industry has spoken and the answer is overwhelmingly: yes. A recent study by the Native Advertising Institute revealed that 68% of publishers use their editorial staff to create ads. This is directly related to that fact that 92% of publishers agree native advertising creates value for their readership. Done correctly it’s the perfect balance: publishers can sell products, earn incremental revenue, and keep their readership happy, too.

But how does this trend affect the role of a journalist? As readers, we can’t help but wonder if journalists are missing opportunities to report in favor of meeting looming advertorial deadlines. We’re left to wonder about the hidden costs of publishers turning to in-house written native advertising as a primary monetization solution.

There is another option out there, but surprisingly only 12% of publishers have opted for the alternative. These publishers have turned to outside sources, like StackCommerce, to create native content for them. Ideally, these articles are crafted specifically with their unique voice and style in mind. While this hands-off approach is appealing to some publishers, it appears that most publishers remain conflicted about moving native content creation outside of the in-house staff, or perhaps they’re simply unaware that these outsourced options exist.

In sum, it’s a challenging time to be a publisher. They are increasingly forced to compromise in order to monetize, while still finding themselves in stiff competition for every impression against an over-saturated online publisher ecosystem. As native advertising continues to evolve, we can only hope that publishers will start leveraging outsourced native content creation in order to keep their editorial staff doing what they do best: creating great content.

StackCommerce Monthly Product Update: August 2016

StackCommerce Monthly Product Update: August 2016

August was a mobile month here at StackCommerce, and it’s no secret why. Over the past two months, mobile traffic has amounted for close to half of the total traffic driven by our publishers. It’s clear readers are turning to their phones and tablets to peruse the web’s best publishers, and even shop for new exciting products.

That’s why we’ve been working diligently to continuously improve the small screen native commerce experience. Read on to explore our most recent mobile-centric product improvements, new checkout updates, and much more.

New Look: Sale Pages


Our sale page got a few exciting updates, including a facelift optimized for our mobile friends. You may also notice some changes with our variant boxes including: clearer options for an improved user experience and publisher-branded highlighting (publishers can choose the color based on their brand guidelines).

We’re constantly working to allow publishers to further customize their Shop’s look, and branded variant highlighting and Wishlist text customization are two exciting improvements on that front. Here are a few more noteworthy sale page tweaks:

  • New easy-to-read tabbed layout for description, specs & terms
  • Breadcrumb improvements for seamless browsing
  • ‘Newest Sales’ module optimized for better exposure

New Look: Sliding Cart


Our users will now enjoy a smoother, cleaner cart experience — which looks especially great on mobile! The new design, that slides from the right, is optimized to reveal more deals and better entice customers into adding to their carts. This update came alongside a slew of post-checkout upsell features that are sure to keep the cash flowing.

Sale Performance Data


You asked. We listened. Publishers can now see individual product performance earnings by clicking on any sale in the Earnings section. You can even use the graph function to see product earnings across specific date ranges.

Checkout Flow

Thanks to this recent update, city and state will automatically populate after a zip code is entered by a customer. This small tweak has already resulted in a 2% increase in conversion!


Last month we released a function to allow customer credits to be issued, which means there are many exciting marketing opportunities in the pipeline! Look forward to a customer loyalty program, special emails, personalized customer product recommendations, and more marketing campaigns.