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In Magazines' Latest E-Commerce Effort, Coastal Living Comes to Wayfair.com

Magazine 'Boutique' at Shopping Site Offers Content, Related Products

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Coastal Living has teamed up with Wayfair.com to market home furnishings in a new section on the web retailer's site where consumers can read content from the magazine and "Shop the Look" below. In the section's Life & Style area, for example, users can get summer grilling tips and recipes from the current issue and buy related grilling items. The magazine's editorial team chooses the items it suggests on the site.

Coastal Living on Wayfair
Coastal Living on Wayfair

Magazines have been looking eagerly toward e-commerce as a way to make money from their content without relying on sometimes-fickle advertising. Lifestyle and fashion magazines were quick to hop on board. Now shelter magazines are increasingly joining in.

Wayfair, for its part, sees content like the kind provided by Coastal Living as a way to better engage consumers, said Niraj Shah, CEO of Wayfair. Last year it hired its own editorial director, Kristine Kennedy, who had been the East Coast editor for Better Homes and Gardens.

Coastal Living's website will drive users to its new section on Wayfair.com, which is designed to look like an extension of the magazine. But the magazine wanted its boutique at a site like Wayfair to help it reach a broader audience, said Charlie Kammerer, group publisher at Coastal Living, which is part of Time Inc.

"The Coastal Living brand has a really emotional connection with readers and users, but we're only so big," Mr. Kammerer said. "That connection can and will be recognized by a larger audience of people."

Coastal Living will share revenue with Wayfair on products sold in the boutique.

Shelter magazines are trying a variety of approaches to collect a share of retail dollars.

In an approach somewhat similar to Coastal Living's, House Beautiful ties three of its columns -- Rugs, I'm Looking For and Paint Palette -- to HSN, whose website sells products from the columns in a House Beautiful Marketplace. House Beautiful, part of Hearst, also allows readers to scan photos of featured books in its magazine using the "HB Connect" app and then purchase those books from Amazon.

Meredith Corp.'s Better Homes & Gardens, which has a line of Better Homes-branded products at Walmart stores, is now testing a program that allows readers to browse those and other items directly at the magazine's website. Its "Shop" tab allows readers to find products from Walmart, Target , Sur La Table and others.

The most integrated experience comes from online-only magazine Lonny. The website, which reads like a print magazine, allows readers to share, save or buy every item that appears in its pages, although readers who choose to buy are taken to the actual retailer's website to complete the purchase.

Beyond the home category, Conde Nast's Lucky recently introduced myLuckymag.com, which allows readers to buy items from multiple retailers directly on the site.

Not every magazine venture into e-commerce, however, delivers on publishers' hopes. Clad, a website from J.C. Penny and Esquire, closed only a few of months after launching last year.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article said Esquire gave up on Clad. The decision belonged to J.C. Penney, which said at the time that it wanted to focus on its core retail operation.

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