bii Shirley ChenNarrativAmazon is many consumers’ first destination when they shop online, and it’s only rivaled by the likes of Google. This makes it harder for competing e-tailers and brands to attract consumers. But commerce content — articles and other content, generally from publishers, about the “best” products, advice on what to buy, and more — doesn't come directly from Amazon, and offers e-tailers an opportunity to bring in more customers if they can get their product links featured in the content.

Business Insider Intelligence recently spoke with Shirley Chen, founder and CEO of Narrativ, which aims to democratize commerce content by helping retailers bid on links within it, about how valuable the advertising strategy can be. We also discussed Amazon’s current control of the commerce content industry, how Narrativ can help e-tailers compete, and what else companies can do to maximize the value of search and commerce content.

The following has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Business Insider Intelligence: How big of an opportunity is commerce content for online retailers to attract consumers?

Shirley Chen: Retailers (online and offline) need to stop thinking about commerce content as just a channel. Commerce content is the most powerful data set in the world; it connects retailers with the trillion-dollar question “What should I buy?” Whoever answers this question starts a conversation and wins the customer.

Right now, Amazon is winning those customers: We see that Amazon has 650 million “conversations” with shoppers via commerce content on over 12 million recommended products, driving $25 billion in revenue. Amazon uses this data to build a model for the conversations and content consumers need to make critical shopping decisions. Outside of Amazon, no retailer has come close to providing relevant content for all of its product SKUs. Narrativ exists to democratize access to this opportunity — first using machine learning to map products with content, and then making this data actionable with our toolsuite and technology platform.

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