New NAA/Krasilovsky Newspaper Shopping Report

The Newspaper Assn. of America has put out a report from Peter Krasilovsky called “The Newspaper Online Shopping Report: Online Relationships with Retailers.” Krasilovsky summarizes his recommendations on his blog as follows:

1. Promote, promote, promote. Consumers and advertisers alike need to think first of newspapers. Use the power of print and online.
2. Carve out a uniquely identifiable shopping section on your Web sites. Most shopping sections don’t stand out.
3. Keep the site clean and consumer focused. Don’t force consumers to wade through 400 SKUs just to sell more advertising.
4. Build vertical directories with comprehensive retailer listings that match newspaper content with local retailer advertising.
5. Make everything on the site searchable so that retailers and shopping content stand out for SEO/SEM.
6. Highlight local retailers above national retailers for sponsored search and other advertising.
7. Partner with shopping application providers, such as online inventory services, that add value to your shopping area.
8. Install state-of-the-art technology, such as click-to-call, video and online coupons, that increases interaction between retailers and consumers.
9. Add voice platforms, such as ad sponsored directory assistance, to prepare for the mobile generation of services.
10. Form a retail collective with chambers of commerce, trade groups and other local media.

I would probably add use newspaper content and writers to give the sites more “personality” than traditional shopping sites and think about developing related verticals and niche stand-alone sites if possible. But I haven’t seen the report itself. I’m happy to see this report out because I was supposed to write a similar report last year and was unable to finish. In my own mind was trying to “save the newspaper industry” with my ideas and insights — such as they are.

Regardless, my version of the project, if it is the same project, was unrealistically ambitious and my schedule otherwise too demanding — with too much travel — to get the job done. I felt very bad about the whole episode. So I’m glad to see that Peter was tapped to (and able to) write such a report. I’m sure it’s a very worthy and interesting document.


2 Responses to “New NAA/Krasilovsky Newspaper Shopping Report”

  1. Peter Krasilovsky Says:

    Greg: It is the same project that you were going to do. The report is a good snapshot of newspapers in online shopping — what they are doing, and what they should be doing — and it is available to members of the NAA’s Digital Media Federation (join!)

    I like your suggestion of focusing reporters on shopping targets. Most newspapers have some shopping content they can import from print. But creating custom content is sometimes easier said than done. Some newspapers have outsourced unique shopping-oriented content to freelance writers to save money, get around union issues, and/or avoid stringent editorial requirements.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    One of the best newspaper initiatives I’ve seen (at the AJC) is a new vertical (not yet launched) that combines newspaper content and ads, with partners to solve some very practical problems people have every day.

    It also involves one of the most innovative connections between online and offline in a very mundane but important context — eating.

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