BrandSpark has recently embarked on a “Click & Collect Study for Magazine Purchase at Retail” with support from Magazines Canada.

Click and collect is growing in importance for retailers and the magazine industry is also excited about its potential. This study is poised to uncover shopper appetite.

This is an exciting opportunity for the Magazine Industry as a whole and for Retailers to realize increases in magazine sales but also for increased sales of other products advertised within magazines and sold within their retail locations.

The goal of the study and key elements are as follows and will entail interviews with both Magazine Retailers & Consumers to gain the best insights.

Key Study Objectives

Assess potential demand for magazines sold through online channels:

  • Identify the potential online magazine buyers out there.
    • The types of titles they would be interested in purchasing.
    • Their shopping process.
    • How does the subset of online shoppers of the retailer relate to magazines vs the in-store shopper?
  • Build a model that will enable Magazines Canada to showcase to current retailers that an e-commerce sales strategy has benefits beyond the category
  • Identify the most promising consumer segments to target with this new offering (highest probability of taking action)
  • Identify which retailers are most likely to experience growth from this strategy
  • What types of shopping trips include magazine purchases and how would these shopping occasions translate online?
  • Explore other retail channels that could sell magazines online per examples below:
    • Does Sephora sell beauty magazines? Do they control/curate their own content?
    • Do Health & Wellness retailers (ex. sell magazines?
    • Is there a potential in partnering with Meal Kit services (e. Uber Eats, Foodora)
  • How does the current online space look for magazines?
    • There is no dedicated online sales space for magazines on any of the online platforms.
    • There are no current models for online sales of magazines, no best practices, nor anything that will help replicate the same results as in mass/grocery stores.
    • Niche/special interest magazines have their own dedicated online spaces, but in a limited fashion (ex. ,
  • What are the potential benefits of selling magazines online?
    • Online shoppers are not as pressed for time. They can spend more time browsing and are willing to spend a bit more than they would in-store.
    • It is easier to target online shoppers with suggestions.
    • Magazines could be an attractive “add-on” item, contributing to a larger basket size.
    • Magazines sales efficiency online is likely to surpass that in-store, due to the ability to target shoppers based on specific interest, previous purchases, and other targeting tools available in e-commerce.
    • Offering magazines online will lead to increased basket size, and will potentially drive trips and increased retailer selection.
  • Does the online platform create any other unique opportunities for magazines that are not feasible in-store?
    • Product discovery through the magazines with a link back to the retailer’s website with special coupons/discounts (ex. Purchase a magazine and get X% off of a product).
    • Being able to promote a single issue to drive sales for that issue.
    • Themed issues as a strategy to co-promote sales for specific categories.
    • Unlocking special digital offers for other digital media available from that retailer.

This study could provide significant findings for the industry. We applaud the efforts that BrandSpark and Magazines Canada have put into getting it off the ground.