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The Sun is making its biggest foray into ecommerce to date, launching a major shopping portal for its 11m users this week.
The move comes as News International indicated its commitment to the newspaper’s site with an overhaul of its content management system and design on Monday.
The Sun Shop will advertise more than 3.5m products from retailers including Comet, The Body Shop, Play.com and M&S. It will be promoted in the print edition.
Site bosses are planning to push the service heavily across its content, with tie-ins for fashion in the women and celebrity sections, and similar links for sports goods. Music and video products will also be promoted on their corresponding areas on the site.
“This is just a soft-launch until our new site has settled down,” said Sun Online editor Pete Picton. “With the new design we can integrate the shop with articles on the main site in places like showbiz and fashion, where it’ll work very well.
“When the two sites are sorted we’ll push it really hard,” he added.
In its latest ABCE figures, Sun Online was up to 10.6m unique users, a 37% year-on-year increase.
The shopping comparison site will see The Sun take on leading players like Pricerunner, Kelkoo and Google Product Search.
The Sun Shop uses product feeds from ShopWindow, a product comparison API from Affiliate Window, which offers search, product and price-comparison functionality.
David Hall, communications director at Affiliate Window, said, “It allows The Sun to leverage existing relationships with advertisers and brands, delivering incentivised consumers by providing them with the best-value deals.”
A partnership with MySupermarket in August saw The Sun put a widget on its site allowing users to compare prices from Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Ocado in real time.