Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

E-Shopping Titles Slow to Click with Consumers

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

E-Shopping Titles Slow to Click with Consumers

Article excerpt

Four big publishers have launched online-shopping magazines--with spotty results. And the jury is still out on whether such titles are viable for the long term.

Magazines that focus on online shopping are starting to reflect the changing reality of business-to-consumer e-commerce itself: Focusing on the Internet alone won't work, but the wider world of retailing--including good, old-fashioned physical stores as well as Web-based shopping--remains a popular bet.

The e-shopping category has been moving in fits and starts for the last year. While Meredith Corp. and Ziff Davis Inc. have recently killed or curtailed their entries in the e-shopping derby, both Conde Nast and Time Inc. are mounting ambitious new initiatives.

Wedding print to e-shopping, says Linda Rosenbaum, vice president of communications for the Magazine Publishers of America, is another example of how "magazines and the Internet have the potential to work together synergistically."

At least that's the idea. However, lukewarm support from advertisers led to the demise of Meredith's shopping Online 1-2-3 and Ziff Davis' eShopper.

Meredith published Shopping Online 1-2-3 a year ago as a Christmas-holiday supplement to 10 of its titles, including Better Homes and Gardens and Country Home, but has since suspended the publication. Ziff Davis, for its part, used its Yahoo! Internet Life as an umbrella for two issues of eShopper before killing it last summer. In a last-ditch attempt to squeeze some revenue out of the publication, it will be issued as Yahoo! Internet Life's e-shopping guide and distributed during the holiday season.

"As much as we're moving forward shopping online, people still like to go to tangible stuff like bricks-and-mortar stores," says Mary Twohig, senior planner for Mind Share, the media-planning and buying service agency of J. …

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