Tag Archives: Fashion Blog

Fashion 2.0: Magazines Capitalise on Shopable Content

Jennifer Aniston by Steven Klein | Source: W MagazineJennifer Aniston by Steven Klein | Source: W Magazine

In recent seasons, fashion brands have learnt to think like publishers, creating original digital content to earn attention and attract fans who will carry their message across the internet. But the reverse is also true: squeezed by shrinking advertising budgets, traditional content creators like magazines are learning to think like retailers, embracing e-commerce to open new revenue streams and monetise their content.

Click here to find out more!“Publishers are the number one generators of purchasing intent for brands every day, but are being allocated an ever shrinking amount of ad dollars,” said Philippe von Borries, co-founder and publisher of popular fashion website Refinery29.com.

Indeed, “intent generators” like magazines are losing their fair share of sales revenue to “intent harvesters” like shopping sites at the end of the purchasing process, observes internet entrepreneur Chris Dixon in an insightful blog post entitled “A Massive Misallocation of Online Advertising Dollars.”

Mr. Dixon suggests that better techniques for tracking how publishers generate purchase intent could lead to a more favorable allocation of advertising dollars, allowing content sites to focus purely on producing content. But many magazines are hedging their bets, becoming both “intent generators” and “intent harvesters” by launching their own online shops and integrating them into their editorial platforms.

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SHOPPING CHANNELS

Time Inc’s key fashion title InStyle first launched InStyle Shopping back in 2007, letting consumers browse and buy an edited array of products from retailers like Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Bergdorf Goodman, and earning the magazine a share of the sales revenue. According to Simeen Mohsen, InStyle’s director of digital business operations, InStyle Shopping has “moved more than $10 million in product since launch.”

While InStyle declined to quantify exactly what this number means in terms of revenue for the magazine, other online publications and blogs earn 8 to 12 percent on clicks that lead to successful sales via affiliate programmes. Even if InStyle only earned about half as much  — say 5 percent — this would translate to $500 thousand in revenue since 2007.

The Business of Fashion

But ShopStyle, the social shopping engine that has powered InStyle Shopping since launch, states on their website: “The rate you are paid per click depends on a number of factors, including how often clicks result in sales for the retailer, the amount of each sale, and whether those products are returned for a refund. As a result, the rate you are paid can vary over time.”

Building on the success of InStyle Shopping, Time Inc. recently made a strategic move to deepen the integration of e-commerce across InStyle.com. In January, the publisher acquired StyleFeeder, a personal shopping engine that uses pattern recognition technology to make product recommendations. StyleFeeder is expected to be woven throughout InStyle’s website and replace the current partnership with ShopStyle. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Fran Hauser, head of digital strategy for the group that manages InStyle, explained: “Our editors are generating significant consumer demand for products in the retail market. And what StyleFeeder allows us to do is share in that value creation.”

Vogue iPad App Contents Vogue Brings Out Its First iPad App

InStyle isn’t the only magazine that’s been integrating e-commerce into its offering. Last November, Condé Nast’s Lucky magazine added online shopping to its editorial platform, bringing intent generation and intent harvesting together in one destination. “We felt strongly that we wanted to weave the eboutique into Luckymag.com rather than create a separate ecommerce site,” said Mary Gail Pezzimenti, Lucky magazine’s web director. “We believe that women want to shop alongside great fashion how-to advice, styling videos, fashion news and galleries of great outfits or hairstyles.”

Independent fashion titles have also been experimenting with e-commerce. Last Autumn, AnOther Magazine launched AnOther Shop, an online boutique with specially commissioned merchandise, from artworks by Jake and Dinos Chapman to laptop cases by Gareth Pugh. Then, a couple of months later, AnOther Magazine launched AnOther Loves, a product recommendation engine that sits alongside, but separate from AnOther Shop. It’s a bit like a collective blog, with product picks crowdsourced from a carefully selected list of contributors. “We wanted to turn this collection of desirable goods into a collaborative stream, and with a little semantics have realised this could be very useful for recommendations,” said Alistair Allan, digital director at Dazed Group which publishes AnOther.

CURATED COMMERCE

Magazine brands are also positioning themselves to generate and harvest purchase intent beyond their websites. During London Fashion Week in February, AnOther Loves teamed up with London department store Liberty on an initiative called AnOther Loves Liberty, a curated selection of Liberty products that appeared on AnOther Loves, as well as on Liberty’s website and at their Tudor-style flagship.

Partnerships with sample sale sites have also been popular. Lucky has teamed up with Net-a-Porter’s online outlet, theOutnet.com, to host flash sales curated by Lucky editors, Hachette Filipacchi’s Elle magazine has a deal with Rue La La and Vogue is partnering with Gilt Groupe to let consumers shop select products from the current issue.

SHOPABLE ADVERTISING

A few weeks ago, Vogue also launched an iPhone app designed to make the magazine’s advertising shopable. Called Vogue Stylist, the app is loaded with styling advice and monthly trends supplied by Vogue editors, alongside products advertised in the magazine, which consumers can browse, mix and match with items uploaded from their own closet, and ultimately click to buy. “Vogue Stylist pairs a user’s wardrobe with products from Vogue advertisers to produce a look that is both chic and new,” said Holly Tedesco, integrated marketing director at Vogue. Using the camera built into the iPhone, the app even allows readers to scan and shop physical ad pages in Vogue’s print issue.

FULL INTEGRATION

But some magazines are going beyond branded shopping channels, curated e-commerce partnerships and shopable advertising. They are integrating e-commerce directly into their center-of-book editorial. This month, W magazine launched a shopping guide alongside images of covergirl Jennifer Aniston, with numbered bullets — and links to external shopping sites — that correspond to the clothing Ms. Aniston wears. Indeed, the integrated shopping guides appear in all of W’s fashion spreads for April.

If this kind of deep integration of commerce and core editorial content appears to pose an inherent conflict of interest, it’s worth remembering that at fashion magazines, these lines have long been blurred. Across the industry, the products featured in editorial are often a function of a magazine’s advertisers.

Furthermore, in the real lives of fashion consumers, magazines and shopping are already integrated. People have used magazines as inspirational product guides since their very inception, a behaviour that’s even easier now that editorial sites and online shops are just a click or tab away from each other. So why shouldn’t publishers offer shopping services that streamline the process for consumers and capture a share of the sales revenue that’s rightfully theirs?

That’s not to say that an independent stylistic point of view is not important. It’s tremendously important. It’s what attracts readers in the first place. Going forward, the most successful magazines will be those who are able to maintain their unique point of view, while capitalising on content that’s shopable. A contradiction? Not necessarily. A challenge? Definitely.

“Over the next few months we will be launching several new commerce products,” said von Borries of Refinery29. “We firmly believe that commerce should be an integral element of a digital content site that features new fashion products, trends and designers every hour. Commerce and community also belong together. Whoever does not embrace the two will lose out in the long run.”

Indeed, people love to shop, but even more than that, they love to shop together. While forward-thinking youth apparel brands like Vans have experimented with realtime social shopping, letting users share the experience of customising shoes, we’ve yet to see a content site that lets readers explore and shop fashion together, in realtime.

Source: Businessoffashion.com by Vikram Alexei Kansara is Managing Editor of The Business of Fashion

 

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Burberry Celebrating 1 Year of Social Fashion: Art Of The Trench

It works like a personal catalogue for trench coats and looks like a playbook for spies…

Burberry’s experiment into social networking, The Art of the Trench celebrates its first birthday.  The website allows users to share fashion sense and faces along with their favorite trench coats.

As Reuter reported from the trench coat Motherland last year, Burberry has dug into the social networking mine with the launch of its new website artofthetrench.com. Burberry’s Facebook page calls it “a living celebration of the trench coat and the people who wear it.” While many designers (@DVFNewYork) and retailers (@Bloomingdales) have taken their businesses to Twitter, Burberry is the first major fashion titan to actually create a social media labyrinth of its own.

With Art Of The Trench, Scott Schuman of Satorialist fame has teamed up with Facebook to create a social networking fashion blog bizzarely centered solely around the Burberry trench coat. The site features a colorful grid of photos of street walkers – all non-generic, beautiful and photogenic – sporting the renowned and timeless trench. Many of them have tattoos, some are riding their bikes, and others have scarlet red hair. When you click on one of them, their snapshot becomes enlarged and the Facebook influence becomes clear – you can “like” or “leave a comment” and “share” the image. You can even sort the images by popularity, or weather!

Picture 2

The site has media and fashion junkies (and even the Financial Times!) buzzing. And we’re not surprised – the interface is pretty flawless, and the design itself is attractive. But as timeless as the Burberry trench is (and as good looking as these supposed non-models are), will the new site actually affect sales, as NYT Fashion speculated in its tweet a while back?

The full New York Times article, which appeared in the Global Business section, reported yesterday:

“Those raincoats, a 95-year-old fashion icon, remain Burberry’s best-selling item, and Ms. Ahrendts — who now runs the company — is hoping to move the quintessentially British brand into the age of the Internet to attract a new generation of shoppers.”

 

 

 

We don’t doubt that Art Of The Trench will be bookmarked and thrown in our fashion blogs folder, among the likes of The Sartorialist and Garance Dore, but will we ever revisit it? However iconic, the revolving of a website – a social networking one no less – around a singular piece of clothing is a risky move. While it has caused a sudden buzz from a wide array of media outlets, Art of the Trench just doesn’t have the repeat user pull that it needs to be a sustainable campaign. Unless of course, this is just one part of a grander plan. Perhaps the site will expand in a LookBook-ish type way. But to maintain the hold on the web attention they’ve managed to attain so quickly, Burberry will have to deviate from only focusing on the trench. Which was sort of the site’s manifesto to begin with. It’s a Catch-22 that’s relevant in a day and age where anyone can start a blog or create a website on a whim.

There’s no doubt that the trench will stick around, but only time will tell if the Art of it will.

 

Text Source: Mediaite.com

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