UK publishers will be able to take advantage of Amazon’s wealth of shopper data after the introduction of two new tools by the e-commerce giant.

One will allow publishers to better target site visitors by tailoring editorial content, and a second tool will enable more finely honed private marketplace (PMP) deals with advertisers.

Shopping Insights, reported Digiday UK, is a tool that’s already been extensively tested in the US, but is still in beta stage in the UK. It allows a publisher to see the Amazon shopping habits of the visitors to its site.

The idea is that if publishers see what their visitors are looking to buy, or have recently bought on Amazon, editorial teams can then produce content to fit that data. This insight-driven content can also then be used by publishers when pitching to advertisers.

Digital media publishers view the development with excitement as publishers have previously had limited insight into what site visitors are in the market to buy.

“With Amazon Shopping Insight at least the publisher knows if their audience actually does buy certain product types, which should help us massively to sell into relevant buyers,” one executive told Digiday.

The second tool, Direct Deals, is also in beta in the UK. This allows a publisher to agree a PMP on reserved inventory, which is based on Amazon’s shopping data, Digiday says.

Details on the exact nature of the data to be released are not yet clear, but one option, according to publishing sources, is for publishers to marry Shopping Insights data with the PMP offering, and then either a fixed-fee, or floor-price model agreement can be struck between advertiser and publisher.

Many UK publishers will be hoping Amazon’s move will drive Google to respond by sharing similar data.

The news comes at a time when many UK publishers are struggling. Their problems are typified by the travails of JPI Media, formerly Johnston Press, which has announced the sale of its business to its creditors.

The owner of the i, The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post, and more than 200 local newspaper titles, became saddled with unsustainable debt, built up following acquisitions before internet rivals started to eat into ad revenue in earnest.

Classifieds, in particular, have been savaged by a migration to specialised sites. The company took £177m in classified revenue in 2007, but by last year that had plunged to just £20m. Property, cars and job vacancy websites did the most damage, along with the rise of the rapid growth of digital advertising through Google and Facebook.

Sourced from Digiday, Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff