Content Network Adds Commerce: TechMedia Acquires BuyerZone

Content commerce: TechMedia acquires BuyerZone

TechMedia, a media company and content network, has acquired BuyerZone.

TechMedia operates a network of websites that are technology and science related, including Laptop, Business News Daily, Tom’s Hardware, and Top Ten Reviews.  TechMedia says it has “72 million engaged tech and science enthusiasts” monthly.

BuyerZone is a lead-generation commerce site. It brings together SMBs who need business products and services, with vendors.  A small business owner or manager goes to BuyerZone to locate vendors and get price quotes for phone systems, payroll services, copiers, forklifts and other services and supplies.  BuyerZone said in its announcement that it has “over one million registered buyers and a network of more than 8,500 sellers across 150-plus product and service categories.”

BuyerZone was formerly owned by Reed Business information.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Strategic Content and Commerce Combo

These kinds of combinations can make sense.  By adding a commerce component, content sites hope to expand their revenue streams. With direct commerce they do not have to rely solely on traditional advertising or subscriptions.

Commerce platforms likewise have an incentive to pair up.  With Amazon seeming to rule the world of consumer e-commerce, and Google displacing commerce through its direct shopping results, it can be hard to grow a commerce platform today.  Commerce platforms always need more buyers.  Content draws buyers in.

That’s especially true for small business services, because it’s typically a more complex purchase. Buyers tend to research purchases ahead of time — where else, but on content sites.

The announcement seems to bear this strategy out, noting:

“With this acquisition, TechMedia Network continues to expand its ability to both drive and simplify complex purchase decisions for end-users through an industry-unique combination of Content, Community, and Commerce.”

Up to now, BuyerZone has used a growth strategy of drawing traffic through affiliate/partner sites.  In an email sent to affiliate partners, Aaron Bailey, General Manager of BuyerZone, was quick to reassure affiliates that little would change:

“Rest assured, this acquisition will not affect the way you do business with BuyerZone. It will, however, make available to BuyerZone significant new resources that will expand our ability to monetize the high-quality traffic you generate on our behalf.  BuyerZone will operate as a standalone entity within TechMedia Network, and the BuyerZone affiliate team will remain dedicated to supporting you and helping to grow our partnership.”

(Small Business Trends is technically an affiliate of BuyerZone, although the relationship is not yet fully implemented.)

BuyerZone also has a consumer arm to find items to buy for your home.  The announcement makes clear that this is mainly a small and medium-sized business (SMB) play, however.  

Image: BuyerZone video still

Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.