September 11, 2003, 12:00 AM

Buy.com’s BuyMagazine ditches print and goes all-digital

Buy.com will e-mail former print magazine to 3.5 million customers, with interactive multimedia content and links directly to Buy.com’s shopping cart.

BuyMagazine, the direct response magazine of online discount retailer Buy.com, has gone digital. Buy this week replaced the former print edition, mailed to 600,000 registered customers, with a digital version, with an e-mail distribution list of 3.5 million Buy customers. The magazine, which launched in January, wraps content such as technology and entertainment reviews around opportunities to buy related products online, such as music, books, videos, computers, and cellular products.

The digital format will link site visitors even more directly with opportunities to buy, with a feature that allows online readers to click to add featured products into a Buy.com shopping cart. The electronic magazine will include frequently updated prices, rebates and special offers. It will also offer interactive features beyond e-commerce such as, for example, not only reading about a new CD but being able to dowload song samples or even an entire recording, or clicking on a movie ad to view a trailer on the film.


The strategy behind going digital is to more closely link content and commerce, the company says. "Previously, you had Buy.com, the online component where you could shop, but there weren`t a lot of user guides or a lot of content wrapped around it. In addition to that, you could get the magazine in your mailbox. Those two weren`t tied together as closely as we wanted," says Stew Duncan, BuyMagazine`s publisher.

Noting that Buy.com offers more than 1.5 million products, Duncan adds that linkage of web site and magazine simplifies the shopping experience at Buy.com. "It can be overwhelming when you go to Buy.com and there are more than 1.5 million products. By aggregating some of the best products and best offers in one location with articles that are entertaining and also informative about the products, it streamlines the shopping experience for the consumer," he says.

Duncan adds that the digital format, minus the magazine`s printing and shipping costs, is allowing it to reach more customers with the same budget. "Going all-digital has allowed us to greatly enhance the customer experience and significantly extend our reach,” he says. “It’s a whole new interactive relationship with our customers.”

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