Better Homes and Gardens magazine is trying to turn traditional shoppers into e-commerce enthusiasts. That was made clear on Monday when the magazine’s parent company, Meredith Corporation, (NYSE: MDP) announced an integrated publishing program called “Shop Online.”
The new program will be launched in October in an attempt to encourage a targeted part of Meredith’s subscriber base to shop on the Internet. Meredith, which also publishes magazines such as Ladies’ Home Journal and Family Money, will use its print publications and Web sites to help readers learn about e-commerce.
“Our research for this project told us that most of our potential customers are either already shopping online or will be soon,” said Joseph Lagani, publishing director of Shop Online. “E-commerce marketers are looking for ways to brand themselves in time for the holiday shopping season. We are offering them almost 13 million great prospects.”
With this new initiative, Meredith is entering a crowded market of Web sites that target women with a combination of content and commerce. These sites include iVillage, Women.com and the newly launched Oxygen.com.
Meredith Will Launch Shop Online Magazine
The Shop Online program will launch with the publication of Shop Online magazine, an approximately 80-page holiday buying guide that will include features such as a list of 250 recommended sites for Internet shopping, tips about online shopping security and advice for comparison shopping.
Meredith says Shop Online magazine, which will be bundled with its other magazines, will have a circulation of 4.3 million and reach an audience of almost 13 million. Meredith isn’t simply going to mail Shop Online to its entire subscriber base. The company will use database marketing to target magazine subscribers with Internet access who are already shopping online or have expressed an interest to do so in the near future.
Web Site Will Also Be Launched
Meredith will also create a Shop Online Web site that will supplement the information in the new print magazine. The Web site will include links to recommended sites and be promoted in the Shop Online magazine, as well as the Web sites of all the participating magazines.
Meredith says subscribers from the upper demographic editions of Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies’ Home Journal will receive Shop Online, as well as selected subscribers to Country Home, Traditional Home, Midwest Living, Golf for Women, Family Money, MORE, Crayola Kids, and Country Gardens magazines.