June 1, 2007, 12:00 AM

FirstStreet opens doors to older consumers

Housewares and gifts e-retailer firstStreet is tag-teaming with marketing partners to pin down its target audience of Baby Boomers and older adults. Advertising on blogs and linking with Retirement Living’s web site, RL.tv, are two recent examples of how firstStreet is working out new marketing techniques.

Housewares and gifts e-retailer firstStreet is tag-teaming with marketing partners to pin down its target audience of Baby Boomers and older adults. Advertising on blogs and linking with Retirement Living’s web site RL.tv are two recent examples of how the e-retailer is wrestling with new marketing techniques.

FirstStreet, an online and catalog retailer that operates on the web at firstStreetOnline.com, targets a mature audience with the tag line “For Boomers and Beyond.” Specializing in products for the home, garden and personal use, it has recently migrated away from emphasizing highly innovative products to ones that are unusual but practical and serving an established need among mature consumers, says director of Internet marketing Daniel Yonts.

One such product is the Garden Groom Mini, a lightweight brush and hedge trimmer that it recently advertised on gardening blogs. “Within two days, the New York Times wrote an article on the Mini both online and in their print gardening section,” Yonts says.

While firstStreet is still waiting to see the effect of the paper’s exposure in sales, the retailer is already leveraging the publicity it builds through blogs and other means. In April, for instance, it went live with a co-branded site that serves as the shopping section of RL.tv, which provides e-commerce sales of products that Retirement Living may feature in online videos about topics ranging from gardening to home security.

In the first of three recent partnerships firstStreet has formed with informational content sites that cater to niche audiences, the retailer is providing content including product details and images that its partners feature in informational online videos and other forms of online content. FirstStreet provides e-commerce, contact center and fulfillment functions, and it shares e-commerce sales revenue with its partners.

In some cases, firstStreet’s partners publish content about products in print or broadcast reports, and refer inquiring consumers to a toll-free telephone number connected to firstStreet’s contact center.

billb@verticalwebmedia.com

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