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The Commerce Awards for Publishers 2019: All you need to know about the winners and key takeaways to help publishers create excellent commerce content

Posted 5 years ago by Angus Quinn

The Commerce Awards for Publishers (The CAPS) is the only awards program dedicated to excellence in commerce content. The winners and nominees are great examples for publishers looking to learn how they can scale commerce content into a meaningful source of revenue.  

After the success of its first edition, we introduced several new categories, raising the number of awards to fifteen. Here are this year’s winners and nominees.

The CAP for Best Digital Native Publisher 
Winner: Reviewed

Reviewed took home the CAP for Best Digital Native Publisher. Launched fifteen years ago, the dedicated commerce site – which is part of the USA Today network – emphasized the importance of putting readers ahead of revenue generation in the content creation process. 

Using readers’ needs as a starter point, Reviewed’s team then use reporting and performance data to understand what resonates, and alter output in order to better cater to their audience. 

Articles entered for consideration for the award include a guide to cleaning pillows, comparison of meal kit delivery services and a review of an OLED TV


  • Refinery29
  • Vox Media
  • DotDash
  • The Bump / The Knot

Key takeaway: Always put readers’ needs ahead of revenue generation 

The CAP for Best Beauty Article 
Winner: Refinery29’s Beauty Innovator Awards

Refinery29 describe their Beauty Innovator Awards as a showcase for the, “products, brands and people that are breaking the rules, smashing the patriarchy, and waging war against beauty standards, one lipstick at a time.” It is clearly a message which struck a chord with our judges as Refinery29 took home the trophy for The CAP for Best Beauty Article. 

The submission put the sleek design and smart UX of the Beauty Innovator Awards center stage as a reason for why the brand should win the award. It is a shining example that Commerce Content can be more than text-heavy reviews or listicles. 

Key takeaway: Beautiful design is just as important as beautiful content 


The CAP for Best Mobile Article
Winner: New York Media’s The Strategist

With the ever growing share of mobile in media consumption we introduced this Mobile category in TheCAPS 2019. this follows the launch of our first-to-market AMP solution helps publishers monetize content designed for Google AMP. Is is now installed on over 500 domains globally and we’ve seen over $6M in retail sales generated through from AMP articles.

New York Media’s The Strategist came out on top in this category with their roundup of the best vibrators available on the market. WIth a breadth of products, for a breadth of purposes, the article is designed with broad appeal in mind. 

The design is also built for mobile consumption, a channel that is responsible for a growing share of traffic and conversions. The article focuses on an intimate topic, which could explain its success on AMP, as people have more privacy reading an article on mobile than desktop. 

Key takeaway: Install our AMP solution to capture mobile conversions, which are increasing year-on-year 

The CAP for Best Black Friday Article
Winner: The Verge

Black Friday is the perfect ecommerce opportunity: Publishers are spoilt for choice of brands to write about and readers are hungry for advice on the best products (and deals) they can get their hands on ahead of the holiday season. 

So it made sense to include a category to honour the best Black Friday article.

The winner was The Verge’s “Guide To Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2018”. The ambition from the team was to create, “a page that has everything the reader needs.” The landing page is designed with different readers and different searches in mind: A pre purchase research segment for speculative shoppers, category roundups to help people searching for items in particular groups, and by retailer for readers with strong brand loyalty. 

Key category: Broad appeal wins during Black Friday 


The CAP for Best Dedicated Commerce Brand
Winner: Reviewed

Quality commerce content gives readers the information they need to make an informed purchase decision. 

And Reviewed can certainly claim to provide genuine service journalism for its readers. 

In fact while commerce brands are often seen as a new feature of the publishing landscape, Reviewed has been on the scene for over a decade. 

After an incredible year of growth that the hard work of the Reviewd team was recognised by our panel of judges with the awarding of the CAP for Best Dedicated Commerce Brand. 

The submission reflected the key truth that gives life to all quality commerce content: It gives readers the information they need to make a more informed purchase decision. 

Key takeaway: The best commerce content helps readers make informed purchase decisions 


  • The Strategist 
  • HuffPost Finds

The CAP for Best Editorial Brand
Winner: New York Media

New York Media won the CAP for Best Editorial Brand for a second consecutive year. 

Their winning entry put focus on how experimentation and best practices with the publisher’s commerce brand The Strategist has helped inform the expansion of commerce content in the organisation’s other titles: Grub Street, Vulture and the Cut. 

The Strategist team will for example input on product tests or comparison articles at other titles to help apply learnings from their own experiences to the other titles commerce content. 

As the submission acknowledges, New York Magazine has advised readers on purchases for half a century and in that time the benchmark for quality commerce content has only risen higher. The outlook now is to continue to provide expert product advice that can appeal to individual brands’ audiences. 

Key takeaway: Granular performance data is the key to optimizing your commerce strategy 


  • Dwell
  • USA Today / Reviewed
  • Good Housekeeping (Hearst)
  • The Knot

The CAP for Best Evergreen Article
Winner: The Strategist (New York Media)

A good night’s sleep has always been part of doctor’s advice. 

But in our hectic world, managing to get a goodnight’s sleep is an increasing challenge. 

The Strategist’s award-winning evergreen post focuses on mattresses, helps readers understand the best in the market and how to find the perfect fit for their needs. 

Key takeaway: Evergreen content can be the most valuable, The Strategist has seen the revenue from the article increases 71% y-o-y with regular updates since 2017


The CAP for Best Fashion Article
Winner: Vogue

The team at Vogue won the CAP for Best Fashion Article for “The Ultimate Spring Sandal Guide is Here”. 

And while as a publication Vogue has a reputation for designer fashion pieces, the commerce team where clear they want to make an article that could appeal to everyone:

“It includes a robust market selection of fashionable sandals as low as $60. It includes a mix of high/low designers, while still maintaining a high taste level. 

“It appeals to a wide search demographic of people looking for sandals while packaging the story in a way that is organized with easy CTA buttons.”

Key takeaway: Including products at a variety of price points increase the audience appeal of an article and the chances of conversion 


The CAP for Best Holiday Campaign
Winner: Fatherly

Fatherly won the CAP for Best Holiday Campaign for their roundup of “The 100 Best Toys of 2018”. Their submission established how the article helps parents buy the right gift for their kids, offers different types of toys – innovative, educational, generally fun – and was combined with a physical pop-up that allowed kids to test drive the toys for themselves. 

Key takeaway: Cross-channel commerce content promotion is key: The best brands look at how they can promote their articles through mobile, email, social, video and physical outlets too. 


Vox Media



Business Insider

The CAP for Best Homeware & Furniture Article 
Winner: Good Housekeeping

Good Housekeeping’s winning article “How To Build Your Best Bed Ever” is an excellent example of DIY commerce content, demonstrating how articles focusing on DIY products, featuring products available from online retailers can be a real success. Readers are becoming more independent and more open to crafting bespoke pieces. Enabling them to do that, backed by expert advice on what items to invest in, is an excellent interpretation of commerce content and shows why audiences love quality commerce articles so much. 

Key takeaway: DIY commerce content has big appeal: It lets people personalise the products they buy, reassured by expert recommendations. 


The CAP for Best Travel Article
Winner: Curbed

As people increasingly seek to invest their hard earned wages in memories that will last a lifetime, travel commerce content is on the rise. 

Curbed’s winning article “12 magical treehouses for your next vacation” aims to help readers travel “like a local”. 

Key takeaway: Travel is an increasingly important vertical and as a high consideration purchase is a great idea for commerce content. 


The CAP for Best Technology, Gadget and Smartphone Article
Winner: won the CAP for Best Technology, Gadget and Smartphone article for “5 best wireless earbuds for easy listening” 

The comparison piece blends an easy to navigate product gallery, with in depth reviews to help readers make an informed choice. 

Key takeaway: Mixing and matching different types of commerce content in the same article can deliver great end results. 


The CAP for Fastest Growth Newcomer 
Winner: Yahoo!

Yahoo won this new category. It reflects the Verizon brand’s position as the fastest growing publisher that has worked with Skimlinks for less than a year. 

The CAP for Fastest Growth Publisher 
Winner: DotDash

DotDash won the CAP for Fastest Growth Publisher. This category honours the publisher with the fastest growth that has worked with Skimlinks for over a year. 

We were delighted to welcome AdExchanger’s Allison Schiff and Digiday’s Max Willens back to our judging panel. Three new judges joined them: Rakuten Marketing’s Rakhee Jogia, CJ Affiliate’s Jodi Ford and Awin’s Paul Stewart. Together they decided the outcome of eleven of our awards. A further four awards were chosen from Skimlinks’ data. 

As well as the information above, you can relive all the action through the photos from the night, which are available through our Facebook page

We’ll see you for The CAPS in 2020! 

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