Grocery delivery services are creating a new channel for home newspaper and magazine delivery, research by RN has uncovered.
Analysis of 180 stores in the 20 largest UK cities selling online across Deliveroo, Snappy Shopper and Uber Eats found 16% are now listing magazines while 17% are selling newspapers. There were also dramatic differences between the platforms, with more than a third of stores using Snappy Shopper selling the categories, compared with under 4% of stores on the other two platforms.
Independent shops were less likely to range publications. Of the major grocer outlets analysed, 35% listed newspapers while 27% ranged magazines. In comparison, of independent stores analysed, only 12% ranged newspapers while 13% ranged magazines.
The most popular categories in descending order were TV titles, women’s weeklies, children’s and puzzle titles. The average range was 19 titles. Collectables were absent in all surveyed except McColl’s outlets.
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While ranging magazines and newspapers has become more common, stores suggested more work was needed to grow the category online. Martin Lightfoot, co-owner of Londis Solo Convenience Store in Glasgow, said: “We have most top magazine and all newspapers listed on Snappy Shopper, but it’s only two or three customers who buy them.”
Nadim Ashraf, owner of Pallion Convenience store in Sunderland, said: “We’re not seeing too many orders, but the weekly TV magazines are the top performers. They are often the add-on item to a basket of basic items.”
Dallam Stores owner Mike Sohal said there was a divergence between the habits of Snappy Shopper customers and news and magazine readers. “[The] elderly generation that love this category isn’t interested in apps. They’re still happy using the old payment method,” he explained.
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Others said publisher support would be needed to drive sales of the category on grocery platforms. Former News UK head of retail trade marketing and current Jisp chief customer officer Greg Deacon explained: “Publishers could collaborate [with platforms] and push to drive sales [through] media, deals and marketing in apps.”
Deacon added the ‘appetite’ from news and magazines brands to develop the channel may not be there. However, other industry sources confirmed talks have already taken place between publishers and delivery platforms, with logistics creating the biggest barriers to greater action to push the categories online.
Despite this, newspapers and magazines were more prevalent than some other common store products. Following Camelot’s warning for stores not to sell scratchcards online, just 18% of stores on Snappy Shopper were ranging the products, dropping to 8% of stores across all delivery platforms.
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