Divorce, health, beauty and socialising are just some of the topics which will be covered in the Ready2.com umbrella site which is set for launch next April. Ready2Shop, which was founded by fashion commentators Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine, will remain as a separate brand but will link to the various channels within the main site.
The past three months has seen a influx of womens services appear online with appearances from Freeserve’s iCircle, Associated New Media’s CharlotteStreet.com and Handbag.com, from Hollinger Digital and Boots. While their arrival was welcomed, many of the sites were then criticised for patronising and generalising women.
Ready2 claims to differentiate itself on several levels, firstly by offering a more personal approach with advice, services and information targeted at individuals. Constantine said: “There isn’t any editorial, this is not a magazine online. We’ve got to remain independent and it’s important to us not to be affliated with a big media owner like the other sites are.” Also, every member of the 20 strong staff is female. In reference to the likes of Dominic Riley, who heads up Handbag.com, Woodall says: “It doesn’t work if you have a man running a womens site, they don’t know how women think.”
The Ready2 sites are database-driven, building up profiles of users and interacting with them depending on their behaviour and the information supplied. A limited e-commerce service is available, but will expand once Ready2 appoints a fulfilment partner next year.
Other plans for the service include roll-outs to Europe and the US, in which a dedicated regional team will be implemented for each channel, plus possible print versions of each channel.