Monday, December 18, 2017

People who pay for magazines at retail or by subscription, tend to read them more often, research shows

According to a new national study of shoppers and retailers, commissioned by Magazines Canada, regardless of age, people enjoy browsing for and buying magazines in retail stores on shopping trips. The study consisted of research about retailing of magazines as well as the behaviour of magazine readers and buyers. [click on graph to enlarge]

Among the findings were that shoppers are willing to buy and read a print copy and have a deep appreciation of Canadian content. Executives and buyers at Canadian mass retailers were interviewed in August and September. According to a release
The study shows that actual consumer behaviour around magazine reading and buying makes a compelling business case for magazines at retail. Retail stores that have maintained magazine space and selection report that they have maintained sales. Shelf space allocation, especially at checkout locations, and reduced checkout waiting time are major, retailer-controlled influences on sales volumes of magazines.
The research was conducted in July 2017 by Brandspark International and involved 1,500 Canadian shoppers 18+ who are magazine readers and buyers -- reading magazines at least once a month or who purchased at least one magazine in the past three months --  and shop for their households.  Full analysis of research

Key findings were:
  • Reading frequency: 50% of survey respondents read a magazine in print format at least once a week, while 28% read digital editions with the same frequency. Survey respondents are also frequent newspaper and book readers. Four in 10 watch movies at home at least once a week.
  • Buying frequency: 41% of respondents buy one or more magazines per month—more often than the 26% who purchase books this often. Magazines also outperform newspapers, greeting cards and books with in-store conversion from awareness to final purchase. Average purchase frequency is higher in Quebec. Purchase frequency is similar among all age groups except those age 18–34, who buy less often.
  • People who pay for magazines—at retail or by subscribing—tend to read them more often. Subscribers purchase magazines at retail almost as often as do non-subscribers, suggesting that a subscription does not replace single-copy purchases. A minority of readers (35%) report accessing only free magazines, such as pass-along or public place copies.
  • Readers buy magazines at a variety of locations: 56% at grocery stores, 44% at discount mass merchants, 41% at drug stores and 24% at book stores. Other locations named by 31% of survey respondents are convenience stores, newsstands and gas stations.
  • Browsing at the newsstand is an in-person, tactile experience that's not possible online. It's an important route to discovery of new magazines and new interests. On average, survey respondents browsed magazines during 3.5 of their last 10 shopping trips, purchasing a magazine on 1.1 of these trips. Most commonly, buyers mentioned front covers as purchase motivations.
  • Retailers typically carry a relatively small selection of Canadian magazines, yet shoppers demonstrate a strong appetite for Canadian content. In many stores, Canadian magazines outsell their U.S.-based counterparts. In 2017, Canada 150 specials in particular were very popular.
  • The research found a correlation between paid media and awareness of its origin. Readers who pay for magazine content know whether it's Canadian or not.
  • Survey respondents whose shopping trip included a magazine purchase report greater satisfaction with their shopping experience.

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