Magazine titles typically do not convey fully the editorial content and strategic mission of the publication, which is why publishers often are compelled to use a subtitle. When we launched Internet Retailer in March of 1999, we thought we had the perfect subtitle: “Merchandising in an Age of Virtual Stores.” And, in fact, it conveyed Internet Retailer`s initial focus-the use of the Internet as a new merchandising channel for store-based retailers, catalogers and virtual merchants.
That was also how the retailing and direct merchandising industries viewed the Internet at the time. Since then, our focus-and the industry’s perception of the Internet-has changed significantly. With this issue, therefore, Internet Retailer adopts a new subtitle that conveys more completely our content and mission: “E-Business Strategies For Merchants And Catalogers.”
As before, Internet Retailer`s publishing philosophy rests on the conviction that the Internet strategies, practices and solutions employed by retailers and catalogers must be unique to merchandising and significantly different from those in other industries. But the new subtitle conveys a much broader purpose for the Internet in merchandising. This more comprehensive view of the web’s role in retailing is clearly seen in the ever-expanding scope of our editorial coverage.
We now see-and regularly cover-four fundamental applications of the Internet by retailers and catalogers. To be sure, our coverage of the web as a new sales channel remains at the core of our editorial mission. In the last 18 months, however, our editorial coverage has steadily broadened to include three other vital roles the Internet plays in revolutionizing the retail trade. These include the Internet as a tool that makes possible multi-channel integration, supply-chain automation and real-time retail management.
These four roles of the Internet in retailing constitute the foundation of our editorial content. They also explain how the web is completely redefining the very meaning of “information technology” for all retailers and catalogers. Multi-channel integration, supply-chain automation, real-time management and on-line merchandising-as we now define these practices-simply would not be possible without the Internet. Taken together, they constitute the four areas that must be covered in any merchant’s e-business strategy-and by any magazine calling itself Internet Retailer.