Wanderful Brings Social Shopping to Newspapers

No more dirty fingers for consumers, who can throw away print circulars and browse sales on their tablets, phones or desktops thanks to Find&Save. The relaunched product, previously a collection of digital circulars, has been redesigned as an online community replete with social-media type tools.

Wanderful Media, an independent company financed by major newspaper publishers, aims to get shoppers into physical stores, according to Wanderful chief operating officer Doug Kilponen. “This is not ecommerce; it’s created to drive a large proportion of people over the transforms of stores and create a new platform for ad sales,” he says.

The application includes the options for sharing and connecting that have become de rigueur in social media: Shoppers using the tool can create lists of sale items that can be saved to use in-store, sent to friends or shared with other users. They can browse popular lists curated by other locals, and share sale items and lists across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and email. Consumers also can follow their favorite retailers, other shoppers and shopping categories.

“There’s value in a curated collection, and there’s something fun about seeing what other people think is interesting,” says Dave Thomsen, executive vice president of product and design for Wanderful. “We’re seeing this dynamic in Pinterest and other products. We like to ‘have’ things, even if it’s just digitally.”

Advertisers pay for placement within Find&Save. The core functionality at launch is exposing sales, but Wanderful will continue to develop the platform. For advertisers, it will deliver data reporting to help retailers understand shopper interests and behavior, as well as the performance of their ads and products. Find&Save is available on the fixed and mobile web; tablet and mobile apps are under development.

Eventually, Find&Save will offer consumers personal recommendations based on individual behavior, Thomsen says. “We can take the things you’ve told us by your behavior and your location, and become smarter about the products we expose to you. As we build out this product, it will get more sophisticated.”

Wanderful’s Find&Save rolled out with national advertisers traditionally seen in print ad circulars, including Macy’s, Target and Walgreens. Regional advertisers will gradually be added, and by December 2013, Wanderful hopes to also sell placements to local retailers.

Find&Save, serving more than 400 media affiliates, has access to more than 100 million unique visitors per month throughout its network in all 50 of the top designated market areas, the company says.

Wanderful Media is financed by Advance Digital, A. H. Belo Corporation, Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., Cox Media Group, The E. W. Scripps Company, Gannett Co. Inc., GateHouse Media Inc., Hearst Corporation, Lee Enterprises, MediaNews Group, The McClatchy Company, and The Washington Post Co. Says Kilponen, “This is the single largest collective investment they’ve made since forming the Associated Press 100 years ago.”

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