An increasing number of digital publishers are connecting magazines and ecommerce. In 2014 the Pew Research Center reported that around half of Americans own an e-reading device. The research also revealed that a large number of these people read the same content they're reading on their e-readers as they would on other devices like smartphones and laptops. A growing portion of that content being read is from digital magazines. More and more publishers who put out print magazines are switching to digital or have added a digital portion to their publishing efforts. Although digital magazines and are still in their infancy, they are quickly finding ways to make money in ways that print magazines never could. One way is by linking their content with ecommerce.
Magazines like Real Simple, Jet, Ebony, Lucky, and several others have all started ecommerce sites. The ecommerce sites in some cases sell their own products and in other cases sell third-party products. It depends on the magazine and the goals that the magazine has. Esquire and Marie Claire partnered with iPhone app NetPage to allow reader to buy the things they see on the page while reading. Whether digital magazines are selling the items themselves or just connecting readers with products, it's clear that digital magazines are a viable way to make readers into buyers.
It goes both ways
It isn't just that magazines are getting into ecommerce: ecommerce is getting into magazines. Companies like men's fashion retailer Net-a-Porter and home furnishings seller One Kings Lane both have started producing content that helps them sell their products. One Kings Lane even went as far to acquire a design firm known for producing the popular home-design magazine, Domino, to produce high-quality content, according to TechCrunch. This trend is likely to continue because it is easier for ecommerce companies to start producing content than it is for digital magazines to start doing ecommerce. The costs of starting an ecommerce website and dealing with online payments are higher than the cost of producing content.
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