Magazine Subscriptions – Online Vs Offline Retail

Since the advent of the internet proper, more and more..

Magazine Subscriptions – Online Vs Offline Retail

Since the advent of the internet proper, more and more retailers have been moving online. As a general rule, if you have goods which can be sold without the need to see them ‘in the flesh’ it is cheaper and easier to retail them through a website rather than a physical shop.

Magazine subscriptions are perfect for online retail. Online retailers of magazine subscriptions can avoid the difficulties of printing the magazines, warehousing, storage, and the trouble of posting them out. Through the growing number of affiliate websites you don’t even have to process payments!

Some other good reasons for choosing online magazine retail, rather than offline are as follows:

  • Captive Audience – your magazine readers already know what magazines they like, and if they continue to enjoy them they will continue to subscribe. They don’t need to see the magazine, they just want to subscribe with as little bother as possible and wait for it to arrive.
  • It’s An Ideal Gift – know somebody who likes trains? Or cars? Or model boats? Then buy them a subscription to a magazine on the subject. It’s an almost fool proof plan, and you’ll look even more generous because it lasts for months.
  • Variety – if you’re not sure what to subscribe to, the wealth of choice on the internet is at your fingertips. Whereas before you would have the laborious task of going to your newsagent, asking friends for recommendations, ringing publishers, you can now just browse one site and find what you’re looking for.
  • Low Cost – most online retailers of subscriptions don’t stock any magazines, all subscriptions are fulfilled by the publishers themselves. This means costs are lower, and you can pass on those savings to the customers.
  • E-Zines – The advent of ‘E-zines’ or ‘online magazines’ means that even the publisher’s costs can be reduced. This allows greater scope for reader interactivity and, lightning fast delivery to your inbox.
  • International Sales – if the magazines on sale on your site are distributed internationally, it both faster and easier to reach anyone in the world through your website, rather than from a shop. The potential for subscriptions sales is not limited by your location.
  • No Stock Worries – as mentioned briefly above, you don’t stock anything. This means you don’t have to worry about management of magazine stock or postage, as this is all handled by the publishers or fulfilment agencies.
  • Fulfilment – all the magazine subscriptions you sell are fulfilled either by the publishers or by third party fulfilment agencies, so all you have to do is be nice to your customers!

So there you have it. The only danger of online retail which is so specialised is that you are relying on one single revenue stream, namely subscriptions. As such you can run into difficulties if your site does not rank well. All in all though, the online model is much lower risk than offline, which is testament to its growing popularity.


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