iVillage Enters Sex Products Market

Looking to beef up its e-commerce offerings and tap into the lucrative market for sexual intimacy products, New York-based iVillage on Tuesday announced a partnership with Drugstore.com to launch a “Sex Boutique” storefront.

iVillage, an ad-dependent property that has dabbled with premium content and e-commerce offerings to widen its revenue streams, said the opening of the sex boutique would coincide with the official launch of a six-week “Awaken Your Sexual Self” online course aimed at helping women overcome lack of sexual desire.

iVillage spokesman Carl Fischer told internetnews.com the Drugstore.com partnership was a cross-marketing alliance that gives the company an opportunity to tap into revenues from a potentially lucrative source. It comes on the heels of moves by iVillage to sniff out subscription fees for a slice of its content offerings.

The sex boutique is not the company’s first foray into e-commerce. iVillage already runs a storefront hawking physical products for a mature female audience. Fischer said Drugstore.com would take care of the backend technology for the sex boutique, which promises a “safe, private and reputable buying environment.”

“Drugstore.com’s sexual well-being area and their approach matched up with ours perfectly so it made sense for both companies to pursue this partnership. We will be marketing to their customers and they’ll be they’ll be promoting the online course and marketing the products that go along with it,” Fischer said.

Even though e-commerce represents a small percentage of iVillage’s revenues, Fischer said the numbers from non-advertising revenue have been trending upwards.

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