WWD.com/fashion-news/fashion-features/aol-launches-hub-for-holiday-shopping-745206/
government-trade
government-trade

AOL Launches Hub For Holiday Shopping

NEW YORK — America Online is taking sharper aim at its customers this holiday — after a period in which its shopping area was driven by merchants’ own promotions — with the launch today of a consumer-based shopping list hub,...

NEW YORK — America Online is taking sharper aim at its customers this holiday — after a period in which its shopping area was driven by merchants’ own promotions — with the launch today of a consumer-based shopping list hub, executed via an exclusive partnership with Macy’s.

America’s Shopping List will post the season’s hottest products, based on customer polls conducted at the hub; search terms used and data gleaned from AOL message boards. In turn, Macy’s will offer promotions of products that reflect the preferences of those AOL users through a link to macys.com. AOL also will feature consumers’ merchandise reviews and gift suggestions.

Apparel and accessories figure to play a pivotal role at the holiday hub, as it’s been AOL’s top-selling merchandise category through September. In September, AOL members spent a combined $409 million on apparel and accessories, disclosed a spokeswoman for Dulles, Va.-based America Online. More than 21 million of AOL’s U.S.-based members shop online, and 61 percent of those shoppers, or 12.8 million, are women.

The eight-week, themed holiday effort, beginning with gifts for home, will feature apparel during the weeks of Dec. 2 and Dec. 9, under themes dubbed gifts for her and gifts for him, respectively.

“The landscape is getting a lot more competitive, and AOL realized it lost its focus on its members,” the spokeswoman acknowledged. “Instead of pushing out products our [merchant] partners want to promote, we are listening to what members want, and pairing this with related items.”

This story first appeared in the November 11, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.