CN to Wine (and Dine) Users With New e-Commerce Play

Condé Nast is adding a click-to-buy option for wine lovers at its food site Epicurious.com, the first of several e-commerce partnerships it plans to launch on its Web sites this year.
 
In the Epicurious deal, wine site Snooth.com will provide wine suggestions for Epicurious’ recipes, which come from Condé Nast’s epicurean titles Gourmet and Bon Appétit. When users click on a wine pairing, they’ll get more information on the wine and will be able to click through to the retailer to buy it.
 
Condé Nast will get a small portion of the retail sale, but the real moneymaking opportunity will come from selling ad sponsorships of the wine-pairing widget, said Sarah Chubb, president of Condé Nast Digital.
 
Winemakers can pay to have their wine offered as an appropriate choice for a given recipe, as determined by keyword matching. Chubb also hopes to sell sponsorships of the widget to marketers like credit card companies that want to reach consumers when they’re in a buying frame of mind. Visa, for instance, is sponsoring the widget at launch July 15.
 
“We see it as a way to bring in business that’s commerce- versus brand-advertising,” she said. “There’s definitely money that’s set aside for things that are at point of sale. Having another reason to line up a brand with the content helps us from the sales standpoint.”
 
Epicurious.com has positioned itself as an upscale lifestyle site, but most wines will cost $20 or less. That strategy reflects the site’s sizeable audience as well as the sagging economy’s effect on users, said Chubb.
 
“It has more to do with mass appeal than the economic times, but we’ve been running features on the site that have to do with budget-conscious topics,” Chubb said.