With an eye on speed, Group Nine Media is the latest publisher flaunting on-site shopping

PopSugar is also debuting its TikTok-centric Holiday gift guide show

In its effort to make holiday shopping as effortless as possible, Group Nine Media announced two new initiatives Tuesday morning.

The digital media company, which publishes titles including Thrillist, The Dodo, NowThis, Seeker and PopSugar, is now letting people buy affiliate products without hopping to a merchant’s website, thanks to a partnership with the one-click checkout service Fast.

Group Nine’s women’s lifestyle title PopSugar also shared details of its ninth annual Holiday gift guide show, called Best-Kept Secrets.

The show will premiere Dec. 3, broadcast simultaneously on the PopSugar TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and website beginning at 8 p.m. ET. This year marks the first time PopSugar will air the show on TikTok, a nod to the growing importance of the platform when it comes to motivating purchase behavior.

The dual announcements underscore the growing importance of commerce to Group Nine, as well as to publishers more broadly. The rise of online shopping during the pandemic has pushed publishers to streamline their retail efforts, reducing the number of steps required for readers to transform into shoppers.

“When you think about what we’re doing with Fast, curating the Fastest Holiday Gift Guide ever, and when you think about what we’re doing with TikTok and Best-Kept Secrets, you get a sense for what our goal is,” Geoff Schiller, chief revenue officer told Adweek. “We want to be at the forefront of the commerce trends.”

Group Nine Media properties attract 50 million users monthly, and the publisher is still on pace to generate $200 million in annual revenue and achieve profitability for the first time in its five-year history, a representative confirmed.

PopSugar’s Holiday gift guide show: Best-Kept Secrets

The event will be hosted by presenter Sierra Chanell Patrick, as well as a rotating cast of PopSugar editors from the Beauty, Trending and Commerce verticals. Special guests, including actor Tia Mowry and TikTok stars the Pitman Sisters, will also participate, acting as secret shoppers and suggesting gifts drawn from a selection of PopSugar-curated products.

The event will be sponsored by QVC and HSN, Massage Envy and Carolina Herrera. It aims to build on the success of last year’s event, which drew an audience of 80 million to its editors’ product recommendations, according to the publisher.

On-site shoppng ahead of buyer behavior

Group Nine is partnering with Fast to bring one-click shopping first to PopSugar, expanding the feature to its other properties by Q1 2022, Schiller said. Through the partnership, PopSugar will create an initiative called “It’s a Wrap,” where editors will feature hundreds of products from merchants like Saks Off 5th and Skin Elite, among others.

Using Fast, readers can make purchases at the point of discovery, reducing the friction in the shopping experience. On-site shopping also provides PopSugar with more first-party data and keeps readers from leaving to a third-party website.

Publishers like PopSugar have tempered expectations for the rollout of on-site shopping, as the technology has moved more quickly than consumer behavior. There’s a need for audience education before this more frictionless shopping becomes commonplace, Schiller said, but eventually, it could become the standard practice for online consumption.

“The big question is: Will consumer behavior align with the hopes? Will people get comfortable just literally clicking to purchase?” Schiller said. “That remains to be seen, but the promise is certainly huge.”

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