Recently, I sat down to an impromptu interview with the CEO of Group Commerce, Jonty Kelt, to learn more about what publisher-based ecommerce solutions can offer to more traditional form of media that may be lacking digital presence.
Group Commerce is a platform for publishers who want to integrate ecommerce into a successful element of their business. Group Commerce serves three groups that help to make their ecommerce program work.
Group Commerce’s technology was designed to support, from the ground up, the unique lists of needs that brands and media companies require. Their enterprise-grade platform doubles as a command center for a publisher’s ecommerce program as well. There is nothing else like it anywhere. Group Commerce understands exactly what it take to succeed. The professional services offered provide all of the needed elements to ensure that their publishers succeed in ecommerce.
Founded in 2010, Group Commerce is backed by several popular names such as Carmel Ventures, Lerer Ventures, Spark Capital, and Bob Pittman. Group Commerce has some top-notch clients in names such as Chegg.com, Boston.com, CBS Local, DailyCandy, the New York Times, and many more. Based in New York City, Group Commerce now has over 100 employees in 11 major cities.
When asked about the publisher based ecommerce solutions provided by Group Commerce, Jonty Kelt shared with me, “We created group commerce with a mission to enable audience owners, to succeed in ecommerce. This is anyone with an audience, website owners, newsletter businesses, TV, radio, print and more. The brands have to engage with intelligence and integrity, so that they add value to their relationship with their audience. This can give traditional or ad based media companies more revenue stream, more engagement with their audience, attract new audience members and for some solid media based businesses, it can give them more relevance in a digital world.”
Before we wrapped up our interview I definitely had to pose to him a question that is near and dear to publications like DBMEi.
Since there is such a huge market now for content relating to the practices of digital marketing, social media and other similar services, how do you see Group Commerce fitting in for the smaller publishers? How can you begin to monetize platforms such as multi-blogger sites like DBMEi?
Jonty Kelt: We currently have an initiative in our engineering department focusing on building a ladder of service solutions which will enable smaller publishers such as bloggers, smaller websites and audiences to turn ecommerce onto their sites as well.
How Can I Get in on Group Commerce?
Group Commerce is rather picky about the publishers they work with. For the most part, applicants must have several of at least six unique qualifications.
- High brand engagement
- Strong local voice
- High user transactional intent
- Locally segmented
Since its launch, Group Commerce has raised millions in funding and Kelt plans to continue to expand the company’s reach into 2012.