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Buy.com Reaching Out To Tech Laggards

26 Feb, 2002 By: Joan Villa

Online retailer buy.com is stepping out of the virtual world to reach consumers at home with the launch of a new print catalog mailed this week to 5 million households.

The 40-page, full-sized buy.com "magazine" features the e-tailer's trademark low prices on products ranging from computers, phones and electronic organizers to DVD, VHS and games.

Orders over $99 are shipped free.

Billed by buy.com president and CFO Robert Price as "everything a person needs to make smart decisions when buying hardware and consumer electronics," the publication intersperses product descriptions with advertising and content such as an article on "choosing the right digital camera."

An article by Price outlines the "benefits of buying online" -- selection, secure transactions, 24-hour availability and privacy.

According to new media analyst Michael Salerno at Adams Media Research, the company is using a "traditional" medium to expand buy.com's customer base by pitching that "lagging" percentage of consumers still uncomfortable with Web purchasing.

"There are a lot of people online who send e-mails, check one or two sites, and that's all they care about as an Internet experience," Salerno noted. "If you can harvest that demographic, too, then there's some business there."

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