In a cross-vertical partnership, Network18’s online retailer store HomeShop18 is now offering its products on the last page of Forbes India’s e-magazine. The details of this marketing deal are not clear, but readers should keep in mind that this is largely in-the-family: Forbes India is also licensed to Network18, which is a major shareholder in HomeShop18.
This deal mirrors instances where physical magazines dedicate a few pages for product and coupon promotion, although the digital integration means that the e-magazine can lead directly to the product on the HomeShop18 website: consumers can click on the product on the e-magazine and will be directed to HomeShop18’s website to purchase the product, or can shop directly from iOS devices. What is important here is the curation of devices, targeted towards Forbes India’s specific demographic. It could be largely a marketing initiative – in the past, HomeShop18 has invested in initiatives like setting up a Virtual Shopping Wall at Delhi Airport.
What is surprising, though, is that HomeShop18 is being integrated with an e-magazine, and not the Forbes India website: one would assume that the website gets more traffic than the e-magazine (do people even read e-magazines?). Additionally, HomeShop18 could try contextual targeting of advertising, liked to Network18 websites. For example, articles on gadgets could easily be linked (using tags) to products available on HomeShop18.
On a side note, HomeShop18 has also recently revamped its website (and got rid of that ugly color scheme it used to sport), and added features like a voice search bar and responsive design.
HomeShop18 reported net revenues of Rs 225.4 crore for the financial year ending March 31, 2013 (FY13), on a gross turnover of (it claims) over Rs 1000 crores, and losses of Rs 120 crore for Financial Year ended 31st March 2013.
(Brindaalakshmi K contributed to this article)