Good Housekeeping is expanding its purview in the digital shopping realm, beginning with its well-known seal of approval.
After 107 years, The Good Housekeeping Institute, a division of the namesake magazine, has awarded its seal for the first time to a digital shopping app, RetailMeNot.
The award dovetails with the magazine’s editorial feature in its July shopping issue on “Steals and Deals,” which hits newsstands on June 21. According to editor in chief Jane Francisco, the partnership with RetailMeNot began as a conversation regarding the shopping issue. The deal included 25 product selections from accessories and fashion to cosmetics and home from the editors of Good Housekeeping. RetailMeNot would then feature the best prices for those products on its Web site.
The app, whose mantra is to unearth the best shopping deals, also wanted to run a sponsored content story on its company mission in the Hearst-owned magazine.
“We speak to one in five women in the country,” said Francisco of the magazine’s selling point for the site. “They brought up the seal and asked if that’s something we would do with their app.”
Francisco’s team checked with its institute and legal department to see if it was feasible to consider the app for the seal, as it normally tests products. Once it passed, it would still have to go through extensive testing from the institute, which ultimately issued the seal for a one-year period. While it’s a bit tricky with an app versus a product, essentially Good Housekeeping is guaranteeing users will get the deal issued by the app.
This may come in handy for shoppers, who are looking to secure deals in-store which, according to RetailMeNot chief marketing officer Marissa Tarleton, is how the majority of the app’s consumers interact with it.
“A lot of our users are not using the app for e-commerce but for in-store purchase,” Tarleton said, explaining that the bulk of its consumers are in their 40s, just like Good Housekeeping readers.
“There’s overlap,” she said, noting that the importance of the seal helps her firm stand out from the morass of digital shopping apps.
In order to measure return-on-investment for its Good Housekeeping deal, Tarleton noted that RetailMeNot is focusing on data from the back-to-school season and holiday. This includes analyzing sales and activity on recommended products. As for the print advertising buy, she said she’d monitor traffic to her company’s website.
Francisco noted that the partnership offers Good Housekeeping readers the ability to find “the best value.” Asked why Good Housekeeping doesn’t take a more proactive role in e-commerce, the editor cited Hearst’s overarching policy to specialize in content.
“E-commerce is a separate business and specialty,” she said. “Hearst has a history as a company in partnering with specialists in a business…to tap into their technical expertise.”