“Research shows that about 60% of magazine buyers will also buy a product based on something they saw in the magazine,” said Annis. “We need to leverage this and magazines’ loyalty-building opportunities more aggressively. Why not give retailer rewards members a dollar off a product advertised in an issue when they buy that issue? Or give loyalty members who buy X Magazine 10% off that issue? We can use QR codes and other new technologies to drive sales of our magazines while also tying in our advertising to drive other sales for retailers and get their basket sizes up.”
Reinforce the Category’s Profitability, Growth Potential
To set the stage, magazines need to reinforce the category’s true profitability and growth potential with retail executives at all levels. Willard Bishop studies have confirmed that magazines are among the top contributors of both sales and profits at supermarket checkouts. They also generate 11.9% of the all profits across general-merchandise categories, Lynch pointed out.
“And given that magazines have 85% to 90% penetration in U.S. households, but currently represent at most about half of one percent of total grocery-store sales, that certainly seems to point to strong opportunity for growth,” said Lynch. “Increasing sales from a quarter percent to a half percent or more translates to major sales profit growth for a retailer.”
With all of the media focus on coverage about magazine digital initiatives, the industry also needs to reinforce the continuing importance of retail sales to publishers’ business models, as well as magazines’ well-documented importance to grocery retailers’ customers.
“Retailers are concerned that these new platforms could mean magazines going the way of retail categories like music CDs and video DVDs, or traditional photography,” said Lynch. “It’s important that they understand that publishers rely on the retail channel for revenue, profits and brand awareness, and will continue to invest in it.”