Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Come back Derek....

A bead of sweat ran halfway down his forehead, pausing slightly at the last, great rift ordaining his twitching frown. Derek had been like this for days, the last days of October; the days he both looked forward to and hated the most. He’d considered another vocation, of course he had. The dehydration, above all else, plagued his thoughts, his home life. He thought of his wife and child, long since left on their annual Autumn get away (from Derek).

That was Derek last year, folks.

He was in charge of Christmas email sending here at Newsstand – it was his decision when it should be sent to potentially hundreds of thousands of Newsstand customers. For many years, he was THE man. Finger hovering over the send button for days on end – never missing that golden moment where weather, half terms, consumer optimism and an intangible whiff of Christmas forethought collided to create that wondrous retailer’s dream, the moment when the reader actually, vaguely appreciates a sales email.

This year, as Derek started displaying symptoms even early in October, we sent him packing…. he’s currently on a trip to see the Northern lights and Santa Claus in Scandinavia with his family. We told him it was far too early, but he wouldn’t listen.

Retailers up and down the country have their own fingers twitching away as we speak – in fact, this post was inspired (yes, OK, we hear you) by a magazine retailer who’s just caved in and sent theirs. We think they’ve bolted too soon, but we can appreciate the stressful times and, quite frankly, if they don’t have a man like Derek in their ranks, well, these things can happen.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Stop Press...

Attitude Magazine uses Newsstand’s unique online single copy sales service to create its largest UK retailer within 6 months, by adding one button to its website.

Attitude, the leading Gay Lifestyle magazine, is using Newsstand to enable its own website visitors to purchase single copies of the magazine for same day despatch, worldwide. Sales through the Newsstand.co.uk outlet have increased tenfold as a result, with the ability for customers to make impulse purchases online, cited as a key driver of sales.

Newsstand has been pioneering the single sales online service to its customers for over 4 years. Linking into the Newsstand service directly, Attitude’s website has allowed customers to buy copies online easily, without having to subscribe.

“We are always looking at new ways to get Attitude in the hands of our loyal readers and as easily as possible. The service with Newsstand allows copies to be sent overnight to readers in the UK for the same cover price and with just a couple of clicks from our website” Mike Buckley, Managing Director, Attitude Media Ltd.

Customers need only click through from an image of the current issue on the publisher’s website and the payment, fulfilment and CRM is all taken care of by Newsstand, with a white label microsite (see example here) option also available.

“We don’t believe that online purchases should be restricted to subscriptions and the customer response supports this. The added advantage for Attitude was that it was so easy to introduce”, chortled a Newsstand spokesperson.


Wednesday, 30 April 2014

An alternative & flexible way to subscribe

We'd like to let you know about our free Cover Alert service available on over 3,500 magazines. It'll remind you when new issues of your favourite titles hit the shops, as well as inform you of their cover and contents.

You can then decide to buy through us, anywhere else or of course, not at all.

We love this service - by using it wisely, you're saying to the publisher, "impress me with each and every issue you produce and if you do, I'll buy a copy". A great alternative to a subscription, which may unfortunately relieve the editor of some necessary pressure to perform!

Plus, the service allows you to pick and choose issues throughout the year, should you not get around to reading all of them - especially good for foreign language learning. There's nothing worse than a pile of unread magazines in plastic to remind us of our throwaway society.

Keeping up with the latest covers couldn't be simpler. Just visit the page for any title on our site and click on the 'Email me Cover Updates' button underneath the image. We'll not use your email for anything else and you can stop the alerts at any time.

Never miss your favourite magazines - wherever you choose to buy them from.

Thanks

Monday, 11 November 2013

Chew on this

We are feeling feisty. No flannel today folks - just straight talking, season sorting facts.

You need presents, you don't like crowds. You detest throwaway gifts, you know 3,000 people all with different interests (and some are, quite frankly, a little strange independent).

You like the fact a subscription can last all year, but you don't want to tie anyone in. You want to select a few different magazines, shorter subscriptions or maybe single copies of top quality fashion publications. You love the great value publisher direct offers - but you don't want to have to wait two months for delivery.

You need to choose when your magazines are sent so they arrive on time, maybe you want to send abroad and you definitely need to add a pretty gift card with your own message. You might also want to email it as well, in case you've left it late.

You know exactly what you want to buy, or you have no idea at all - a magazine voucher would be great. You know real print junkies and you would like to send them a huge stack of quality magazines.

They might have a tablet computer and a fancy phone, but like us, you know they'd be secretly pleased to sit down and read something on paper....they just might not tell you out loud. Plus, it'll be good for them.

Welcome to Newsstand and surprise your friends and relatives with the extraordinary range of print magazines and service you could be giving them this Christmas. We'd be happy to have the chance to deliver a wonderfully personal gift.


Friday, 14 June 2013

The value of magazines

So, we've been busy over the last few months, for a change.... We are working hard to drive prices down so that you - Dear reader, - can buy magazines by the copy for cover price or so. We envisage a magazine world where you can get timely info on all issues as they are published, to decide which ones you want and when. We aren't fans of overly cheap produce in return for habit and data that is so prevalent a mantra in this day and age. We think that just drives down quality in the longer term. Print magazines need to work hard at the moment - show the consumer what they have to offer - the very last tonic on the table is the one that calls for the cheap and cheerful. That's just our opinion - we live and die by them, of course.

That sounds simple enough, but I have to confess it's not as easy as it should be. We don't deal in data here at Newsstand. We try and provide an unbeatable service that is worth paying for. No hidden costs, no renewal, just a magazine and a price. We rely, to a certain extent, on the customer deciding what they want and then paying a reasonable price for it. I would have to say that in this train of thought we are not alone, as the tide of quality over quantity gathers momentum in the magazine world. Occasionally, though, it needs reinforcing, if only via a blog that few, in the grand scheme of things, will set eyes upon. Folk, quite understandably, yearn for economy in all areas - its just that economy often leads to quality issues, as sure as night follows day.

Anyway, to get to the point, things are moving and moving fast. There is now a posse...no, an army of online magazine retailers selling quality magazines that are being launched in extraordinary numbers across Europe and beyond. Many of them are simply labours of love; as far from the money making machines of the mainstream as you could encounter. The truth is, good (I mean really good) magazines don't make really good profits - it's not unlike good cars, or vegetables or even ideas.

You see, it is not a question of price. It is a question of value. The value of reading, owning or just knowing about a product that someone has put time, effort and love into - far outweighs a quick read amongst the ads. You don't even have to own it...if it wasn't out there somewhere things would look a lot more dismal. What we are trying to say is - support those publishers that are out there dedicating hours to a project...you may not always like what they produce but it has a quality, a quality that would be sorely missed if there was no sign of it.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Everybody is screaming for Independents

Print appears to be back in fashion before it had even left sloped off the catwalk, with independent publications heading the list of this year's must haves.

On the face of it, independent magazines are absolutely wonderful creations. There is a real buzz about them at the moment, with new retail outlets sprouting up all the time and mainstream press waxing lyrically on a regular basis. The publications themselves are invariably done for the love over the money, with individuality, hunger and passion displayed by their editors that perhaps few mainstream magazines could even dream of. These are all extremely impressive foundations and when you add to the mix that they are almost universally acknowledged as key to the future of the printed magazine, things heat up even more.

At Newsstand, we've been stocking nearly all magazines for quite sometime now (and yes, since you're reading this, we're independent & family run since 1898). Our emphasis has always been on a level playing field, to assist the smaller magazines in getting seen and heard amongst the mainstream behemoths that can easily buy their way onto retail shelving. It has been our way of championing the niche magazine without actually giving anyone any special treatment. We've always felt it would be a little over confident to be telling our visitors what they should be liking.

Anyhow, the general consensus appears to be that independent magazines are always focussed on the "creatives". Whether it's the wonderful food magazines that are currently prevalent, or the fashion and crafts titles that are also proving extremely popular; industry commentators rarely stray from these topics.

What then, do we think of independent magazines that focus on less artistic subjects and are perhaps produced with lower production values? Despite their incredible subject knowledge, are these to be thrown out with the bathwater (aka future digital only), or still included in the independent gang (aka the magazines that will be printed in twenty years time)?

Suitably, we think we know the answer but it is you folk who will probably make this decision for us and the publishers in question. In the meantime, we are adding more independent magazines to our site than ever before and we've introduced a category that will develop (a great deal) as the year progresses...with such a lot at stake you will need to make sure you have all the information. Our job at Newsstand, if you will, is to give you the tools for the job in hand.

Exciting times in print - don't let anyone tell you iTherwise.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

The gift of magazines

Good day to you, reader. Herewith some vagueness regarding our fine institution and the development of a more interesting gift system with which to impress your friends and families...

We've been accumulating a tremendous number of high quality fashion magazines here at Newsstand Hovels recently. Actually, not just fashion, but art, culture, literature and all the creative gaps in between have been covered superbly in 2012. Many of these magazines are things of beauty - how they can be compared to some sort of phone app is beyond us - clearly created with huge amounts of passion, innovation and dedication and we want our visitors to know about them.

All this has made us think about our customers (even) more and why they actually come to Newsstand.

One major reason is to browse and crucially, choose; since we have been placing current covers on the site we've become a source of information for many and this is an honourable position to be in. We know the browsing isn't as good as it might have been in RD Franks of London - but it is a start and there is plenty more to come.

Browsing is an essential cog in the magazine industry. Consumers need to keep these publishers on their toes. Editors should be making you buy each copy on merit - working on the cover and contents each and every time. If everyone subscribes at tuppence a time, we think its inevitable that these standards will slip.

Furthermore, people want specifics, such as all the magazines with Robert Pattinson or Kate Moss on the cover. They want articles on, say, cheese and they don't care if its in Culture magazine or The Economist!

So, as one extension of this we thought we would develop an alternative to the traditional (and rather tired) "magazine gift subscription". Why buy someone the same magazine for a year when you can give them a budget and let them pick and choose?

Step forward our Newsstand Credit System, where you can present anyone with automated account credits at Newsstand, allowing them to browse and buy single copies, subscriptions or whatever takes their fancy from us as and when they like. They can use up their online credit with no paper voucher or messing about, in little bits or all at once as they please. Simple, easy and unique in the magazine industry.

Yes, you can get vouchers and subscriptions all over the place, but nothing beats the flexibility and freedom of getting what you want and when you want it - without that excruciating waste of the copies you have no need for.

Compare this flexibility to the same magazine coming in every month and there is little contest in our view. For the magazine aficionado, is there a better offering?

Our mission across the site is to allow customers to be able to buy what they wish to buy, rather than end up with a whole load of magazines they may never have really wanted in the first place.