Tanning kits, kettles and wine have now joined political scandals, gruesome homicides and pictures of crocodiles being attacked by hippos on nzherald.co.nz after its new shopping section was released this week. And it's just in time for Chrissy!
There's a vast array of products on offer, all of them chosen from a range of "carefully selected suppliers representing well-known consumer brands" (carefully selected is pushing it, as is well-known: it took about a minute to scroll down the list of available brands). And there are also plenty of daily offers, 'we've gone kerrazzee' specials and exclusive deals for nzherald.co.nz readers.
Spencer Bailey, general manager of APN Online says: "We know people are keen to shop online from a convenience point-of-view . . . The appeal to readers has been shown by the shopping offerings of leading global news sites like guardian.co.uk and nytimes.com."
The shopping section has been built in partnership with online retail specialist Hubsta, the same company (it was then named The Deal) associated with YahooXtra's fairly similar shopping platform.
Some are surprised to see the Herald placing its brand reputation in the hands of a third-party. And whether the Herald's news audience can be converted into shoppers remains to be seen. The ghosts of Ferrit and other ill-thought out online malls hover ominously, but with predictions that online shopping will grow by 25 per cent a year for at least five years, it's definitely worth a punt.
Lance Wiggs has put together a very good video overview of the nzherald.co.nz shopping section and its complicated cast of e-commerce players here.