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Yahoo Jumps into the Ecommerce Fray with New Online Marketplace

Yahoo Shops
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Verizon Media — a division of Verizon Communications that includes AOL and Yahoo — will launch Yahoo Shops, a combination marketplace and advertising solution.

The Yahoo Shops marketplace will feature a personalized digital storefront. Users go through a brief onboarding where they indicate their tastes and preferences and are then presented with their “own digital mall” featuring brands that align with their interests.

Yahoo Shops is not yet live; users are currently able to sign up to be notified when the platform launches. A number of brands have already signed up to be part of the marketplace when it debuts including Skin Essentials (by PROJECTWOO), Golden Secrets and Act + Acre

Yahoo Shops is unique in that it is part of the larger Verizon digital media ecosystem. As a result, brands and advertisers have access to both commerce and advertising solutions within the same platform.

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“Since the beginning of our commerce expansion we’ve focused on delivering a smart and personalized shopping experience for our users, while shortening the path to purchase for our brand partners,” said Andrea Wasserman, Head of Global Commerce at Verizon Media in a statement. “Yahoo Shops is that manifestation and it brings the best brick-and-mortar concepts online while helping shoppers connect with new brands and support diverse merchants.”

At launch the platform will offer a number of advanced digital commerce features including:

  • Shopping the story: Users can directly purchase products featured from reviews, editorial roundups and shoppable videos;
  • Cross Reality (XR) experiences: Including beauty AR tools, a 3D product catalog and a virtual 3D dressing room; and
  • Secure check-out and payment integrations: Express check-out, shipment optimization and buy now, pay later services. 

Verizon has committed that at least 15% of merchants on the platform will be Black-owned businesses and plans to also increase inclusion of other underrepresented groups.

The launch is part of Verizon Media’s “accelerated commerce strategy,” which also has included the In The Know shopping network and the Yahoo Mail inbox shopping feature launched in partnership with Walmart in July 2020.

Verizon Media also announced that it is expanding the In The Know shopping network with two new verticals — ITK Parenting and ITK Cooking. The cross-channel video platform is inspired by youth culture and hit 20 million unique visitors in December 2020, with gross merchandise value (GMV) increasing by 125% YoY that same month. ITK Parenting and ITK Cooking will bring viewers short-form content from influencers like Hannah Bronfman and Rocky Barnes, celebrity chefs and more.

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