A new look for Internet Retailer

April 4, 2013 01:56 PM

For the first time since its 1999 launch, Internet Retailer magazine has undergone a complete redesign that features a fresh look and feel, as well as new story formats.

The changes start in the front of the magazine where the editors replaced Newsline, a section that featured news stories from the previous month, with Buzz, which provides quick snapshots of industry news and statistics. For instance, April’s Buzz features details about HSN Inc.’s web site redesign, highlights a free tool that retailers can use to see who is following them on Twitter, and e-commerce data points like those that previously appeared on the magazine’s Did You Know? page.

The magazine also features several new story formats, such as Debate, which features two e-commerce experts offering contrasting views on an important topic. In April’s Debate, Gary Shar, CEO of apparel e-retailer, and Erik Jeffries, information technology manager at software e-retailer, square off over the merits of using open-source or traditional, closed-source technology to build their web sites. “Debate features e-commerce professionals talking through and justifying the approaches they’ve taken to solving contemporary industry issues,” says Allison Enright, Internet Retailer editor. “Providing that forum with Debate and several other new sections was an important objective of the redesign.”

The back page of the new format is devoted to a new feature called Discuss, which offers another way for e-commerce insiders to share their opinions on pressing and controversial industry topics. Internet Retailer aims to include feedback from readers sharing their thoughts on Internet Retailer’s Facebook page and on Twitter, where responses to Discuss questions will feature the hashtag #IRDiscuss. Any word that starts with a pound sign (#) is a hashtag, which becomes a clickable link to all other mentions of that word. For example, a tweet that says, “I’m going to sell more on eBay now thanks to its new pricing #IRDiscuss” makes IRDiscuss a clickable link that brings up other tweets that include that term.

Internet Retailer worked with design firm Bates Creative Group to complete the redesign. “Just as e-commerce sites have to evolve their look to meet consumers’ expectations, we’re doing that to Internet Retailer to give readers what they’re looking for,” Enright says. The new design includes a more balanced use of white space and graphic elements, and a contemporary color palette, for example.

The debut of the redesigned magazine comes five months after Vertical Web Media, the media and business intelligence company behind Internet Retailer, sold its events business to event management firm George Little Management. The move was aimed at enabling Vertical Web Media to focus its resources on growing its media business—including Internet Retailer magazine,, the IRNewsLink newsletter and research products like the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide—and extending its global reach.

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