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27-04-2015
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Condé Nast Turns Style.com Into E-Commerce Site
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Condé Nast Turns Style.com Into E-Commerce Site

STYLE.COM will be the home of Condé Nast's new e-commerce business, it was announced today by Charles Townsend, CEO of Condé Nast and Jonathan Newhouse, chairman and chief executive of Condé Nast International, replacing the website's news and show reports content.

The new platform - which is the first of its kind for the publisher - will launch this autumn in Britain and sell merchandise to consumers, including readers and users of its magazines and websites such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ, targeting fashion brands as well as upmarket brands from other sectors such as beauty, travel services and technology.

Following its UK launch, the concept will be grown to encorporate the US market, and other major countries thereafter. Current users of Style.com will be redirected to Voguerunway.com, which can be found on the American Vogue website.

"The audience of our magazines and websites around the globe comes to more than 300 million, a huge base of support with whom we already have an active relationship," explained Newhouse of the launch. "It can be considered the top five per cent of the world's adult population. Our potential customer base is far higher than any fashion e-commerce business currently operating and will give Style.com an enormous advantage over its competitors."

The new Style.com, which although owned by Condé Nast will operate as a stand-alone business, will be presided over by Franck Zayan, whose previous role was head of e-commerce for the Paris department store Galeries Lafayette.

"The signed contracts are starting to come in. Every week we sign up another five to ten brands and the momentum is increasing," said Zayan. "Fashion companies and other upscale brands understand the authority of our magazines and websites, and their unique ability to connect them to potential buyers. Style.com will take these relationships to new a new level, taking advantage of our existing customer database. It will provide a great user experience for consumers, employing the most state-of-the-art technology, and build sales for the brands."
vogue.co.uk


Does that mean they'll stop covering runway shows?

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27-04-2015
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I hope they continue covering fashion shows, and that e-commerce is only a "plus service" on the website

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27-04-2015
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^I think Voguerunway is where the show reviews will now be found.

The one thing I find confusing is what Style.com will be retailing? will it be to sell publications online or is it to sell clothing and accessories?

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27-04-2015
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When i read 'Every week we sign up another five to ten brands' I immediately thought a competency with the most important retailer' sites. The e-commerce is the future, just see the Yoox and net-a-porter case, and the Chanel incursion in the clic-to-shop.

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27-04-2015
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Wow, it seems they will be using the URL, branding, and user base of Style for the e-commerce site and runway and fashion news will now live only on voguerunway.com.

I think this a VERY bold move.

Will Style.com/print change? The premise of that magazine is rapid exclusive fashion week coverage, now the url will no house fashion week will the publication still cover it or become more if a Porter?

Also what are to be expected of the collection reviews? They were already heavily steeped in bias and half truths but what will be left after having to truly please brands now that it apart of a magazine's site?

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27-04-2015
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^That magazine doesn't exist anymore, does it?

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27-04-2015
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Changes Are Coming to Style.com This Fall—What You Need to Know
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This fall, Style.com will become a new global e-commerce destination. At that time, our comprehensive fashion and runway coverage and much more will move to a newly expanded fashion shows channel of Vogue.com, to be found at Voguerunway.com. Until then, keep coming to Style.com for our daily fashion show coverage, industry news, parties, street style, and more.

For more information about the launch of the Style.com e-commerce site click here → http://www.condenastcommerce.com/
Source: style.com

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27-04-2015
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Wow, there have been talks of Conde launching an e-commerce platform but I never guessed they would be using the URL, branding, and user base of Style for this, while moving runway and fashion news to a completely different home.

I think this a VERY bold move. They are inheriting a well known/visited URL and an immence user population, but unless they have a lot of exclusives it will be hard to convert those users into shoppers and to compete with established online fashion stores.

I think it would have been a better move if they acquired Moda Operandi and incoporated it into the current style.com so users could pre-order/purchase the looks as they view the shows. The industry is behind with connecting the customers to the merchandise after viewing it and this would be a seamless way to remedy that.

Will Style.com/print change? The premise of that magazine is rapid exclusive fashion week coverage, now that the url will not house fashion week coverage will the publication still cover it or become more if a Porter?

Also what are to be expected of the collection reviews? They were already heavily steeped in bias and half truths but what will be left after having to truly please brands now that it apart of a magazine's site?

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27-04-2015
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^^^ I think you may just be expecting too much risk from them.

As you've mentioned, this was in the making for some time now. Seems like they're very aware of how mainstream Style.com is, and using that brand as a platform for the expansion of e-commerce-- as they rightfully should. They may have been keeping a very observant eye on the likes of Yoox and Net, and only now finalizing their move to tailor an outlet that will suit their potential market.

The "Style" costumer is out there-- and the potential for profit is huge if Conde's done their diligence. Yoox is more akin to a high fashion dumpster-diving emporium: There are amazing pieces at great deals, along with one-of-a-kind, special pieces somewhere in there amongst a lot of garbage brands and overpriced designer labels from seasons past. It's ideal for the patient shopper who knows their fashion, and knows a great deal when they see it. Pret is simply for the big-spender with high fashion tastes. I think Style will place themselves somewhere in the middle to lower-end of high fashion for accessibility, affordability-- very commercial-- much like their most high-profile publications. They will have to differentiate themselves from already existing e-department-store brands like Saks and Neiman. With Voguerunway.com already established by their side as a reference for potential shoppers (and I expect the reviews to be even more praising than ever now since they need to sell the clothes next door), I think they may already be more of an attractive, full-service brand experience than Saks and Neiman...

I don't expect them to go the route of being a platform for exclusive runway pieces that never make it to the shops, or offering pieces from new designers without major department-store support, or couture-y, original pieces. It's not going to be SHOWStudio. Now if they did that, it would an admirable risk.

Thanks Melancholybaby for the article.

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27-04-2015
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Not sure, but the future shop will be similar to ShopStyle.com, a marketplace...so borringgg.

Basically you will be redirected to Nordstrom, Luisa, Net-a-Porter... and they will receive a commission if you buy something.


What can I say, a strong brand (STYLE) and a popular site.

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Last edited by GIVENCHYlover; 27-04-2015 at 12:57 PM.
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27-04-2015
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The e-commerce business will be headquartered in London’s Camden and will employ a marketplace model (meaning it will not take on the risk and expense of buying and holding inventory and will make money from a commission on sales), though carrying stock may become a possibility “in later stages” of the project, according to Zayan. The site will launch with between 100 and 200 brands with a product mix weighted towards luxury fashion, though it will also sell technology gadgets, beauty, gifts and art, reflecting Condé Nast’s portfolio of brands, which includes Vanity Fair, Glamour, GQ, Condé Nast Traveller and Wired
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27-04-2015
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I'm actually quite to see Style.com go. It's been such a standart fashion portal for so many years, it will be so weird to not go there in the next FWs to see the collections. I hope the new site will carry all the same features, especially Tim Blanks' videos!

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27-04-2015
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I'd imagine that a large part of style.com's users are just people who look high fashion and not necessarily be able to afford most of it, so using that url may not pay off so well aside from helping the e commerce website appear legit and trustworthy. Also, what would set them aside from the more established websites like Neiman Marcus, saks, net a porter, etc.? How would they rise above their competitors to try to get more customers? Why should one choose style over say Neiman? I wonder how they plan to make the site stand out


Last edited by squilliam; 27-04-2015 at 01:37 PM.
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27-04-2015
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BoF Exclusive | Condé Nast to Transform Style.com into Global E-Commerce Player
BoF can exclusively reveal that Condé Nast’s long-anticipated global e-commerce launch, set for the autumn, will transform Style.com into a shopping site and bring its editorial coverage under the umbrella of American Vogue.
Quote:
LONDON, United Kingdom — The Business of Fashion can exclusively reveal that Condé Nast will launch its long-anticipated e-commerce venture this autumn under the company's existing brand Style.com. The company described the move as involving unprecedented cooperation between Condé Nast’s American and international arms, underscoring the scale of the company’s ambition in targeting the $1.5 trillion global e-commerce market.

Style.com, which currently hosts fashion news and runway coverage, will be transformed into a global e-commerce destination, while its editorial content will be migrated to a new url, voguerunway.com, under the umbrella of American Vogue. The company did not disclose a specific date for the moves, saying only that they would happen sometime in the autumn.

Launched in 2000, Style.com was originally conceived as the online home of Vogue, which did not launch its own web presence until 2010, despite being one of Condé Nast’s most powerful and recognisable brands. In recent years, the two sites have produced overlapping fashion news and runway coverage and the move to recast Style.com and fold its editorial content into Vogue will correct what some perceived to be a strategic error and end the duplication of cost associated with running the two websites, while leveraging the brand equity built up over the years in Style.com.

“Vogue.com in the US is going through a massive growth period,” Bob Sauerberg, president of Condé Nast, told BoF. “We are investing into it and expanding it to create that as our premium digital fashion destination. It’s about getting behind Vogue.com and taking much of the content at Style.com and bringing that content and the audience over to Vogue.”

According to statistics provided by Condé Nast, Vogue.com has seen a 160 percent rise in unique visitors from Q1 2014 to Q1 2015, as well as a 345 percent lift in traffic from social media during the same period. In March, the Vogue.com website received more than 6 million monthly unique visitors according data cited from Omniture in Vogue’s media kit.

The move to transition Style.com content under Vogue was foreshadowed by a new reporting structure, announced last November, that saw Style.com editor-in-chief Dirk Standen and publisher Matt Rice report to Vogue publisher Susan Plagemann and Vogue editor-in-chief and Condé Nast artistic director Anna Wintour, respectively. The new shift in strategy will result in some redundancies at Style.com in the US, though the company declined to disclose details, saying only that most of the Style.com team will join American Vogue to work on voguerunway.com. In December, Style.com announced that it was suspending publication of its print magazine.

Meanwhile, Condé Nast’s interest in e-commerce has been prophesied by several investments in start-up fashion e-tailers like Moda Operandi, Farfetch and Vestiaire Collective — companies with whom it will now compete. It has also experimented with e-commerce at its own publications, combining Lucky Magazine with e-commerce platform BeachMint to form a new company, The Lucky Group, in 2014.

In this way, Condé Nast’s new e-commerce venture is the result of stars aligning to form a constellation of opportunity around three points: the company’s ambitions in global e-commerce, the chance to eliminate the duplication of cost associated with running similar Style.com and Vogue.com sites, and the future potential of the Style.com brand.

“In some ways [Style.com] duplicated and overlapped the vision of Vogue.com in the US and it was decided that this was really a great brand name for what we want to do with e-commerce,” said Jonathan Newhouse, chairman and chief executive of Condé Nast International. “Even if Style.com hadn’t already existed it would be a great name.”

“Style is an extremely powerful brand. In many ways it is Condé Nast’s middle name,”agreed Franck Zayan, president of Style.com and previous head of e-commerce at Paris department store Galeries Lafayette. “As much as Condé Nast is about fashion, it’s about many other things. It’s about lifestyle as a whole. In one five-letter word it describes precisely what we are building: a lifestyle destination for commerce.”

The new venture will launch in the UK this autumn, followed by a move into the US in early 2016 and further expansion into Asia and other major European markets in the years to come. Ultimately, the global roll-out will target the full audience of the company’s media brands — a potential customer base of more than 300 million people, according to Condé Nast — who will be able to shop directly from editorial content.

“From the start, it is aiming at being a global project and growing very fast, being deployed in a big number of markets and bringing a layer of service to all Condé Nast publications,” said Zayan.

“It’s a $1.5 trillion marketplace that’s growing high double digits a year,” said Sauerberg of the global e-commerce opportunity. “We studied it hard in the US and it was very clear to us that scale was critical. Talking through opportunities with Jonathan [Newhouse], we were thrilled to find a way to do this together. So we structured this in a way that we believe gives us the best chance to succeed.”

That structure is a separate e-commerce venture within the Condé Nast conglomerate, which will pour over $100 million in investment into the new entity over the next two to three years — an amount greater than what the company typically spends to launch a new magazine — according to Jonathan Newhouse.

The e-commerce business will be headquartered in London’s Camden and will employ a marketplace model (meaning it will not take on the risk and expense of buying and holding inventory and will make money from a commission on sales), though carrying stock may become a possibility “in later stages” of the project, according to Zayan. The site will launch with between 100 and 200 brands with a product mix weighted towards luxury fashion, though it will also sell technology gadgets, beauty, gifts and art, reflecting Condé Nast’s portfolio of brands, which includes Vanity Fair, Glamour, GQ, Condé Nast Traveller and Wired.

“Probably, this will be the biggest — certainly one of the biggest if not the biggest — business opportunity we have pursued in the last two years,” said Newhouse, who has overseen the company’s investment in brand extensions including bars, clubs, restaurants and fashion schools. “It’s a major investment and we would only invest that time and money if we felt that it would return to us in profits. We see this as a very, very big opportunity.”

The UK launch is a “pilot” that will allow the company to test the waters before rolling out to the US and beyond, according to Sauerberg. But London is strategically positioned between North America and Asia and is also the home of Condé Nast International, as well as several leading fashion e-commerce businesses, including Net-a-Porter, Farfetch and ASOS, giving the city a rich talent pool. At the start of the month, Condé Nast tapped former ASOS editorial director Melissa Dick to become its editorial director of e-commerce. Some of the team behind the new e-commerce venture came “from other businesses like Yoox and Net-a-Porter and ASOS,” according to Newhouse.

The UK also spends more money online per capita than any other developed country, including the US and China, with the average consumer spending £2,000 (about $3,028) per year, according to a 2014 report from UK communications regulator Ofcom. This is significantly higher than the US, at £1,171 (about $1,773) per capita. “Britain is a very sophisticated, very high value, high penetration digital marketplace. The e-commerce penetration in Britain is even higher than the US,” said Newhouse. “And it’s our largest international market.”

In a fashion e-commerce market that is highly competitive and is consolidating, as seen in the recent merger of Yoox and Net-a-Porter, Condé Nast sees its edge as its unique ability to integrate commerce and content, harvesting the powerful purchase intent generated by its magazines.

“The most differentiating piece that we add to that is that we actually are in contact with the customer a long time before they actually become customers. We are in connection with that reader at the time they discover the product, the trend,” said Zayan. “If we’re able to go all the way from that point of inspiration to the point of transaction and then to the point of physical transaction and the interaction with the store, then we cover a much wider realm than any other player in the market.”

“Over the last several years, among our strongest advertisers have been the biggest e-commerce players. Yoox and Net-a-Porter are heavy continual advertisers,” noted Newhouse. “If these e-commerce companies are paying a lot of money to reach the people who read our magazines and use our websites, why should not we, who know our customers better than anyone, who have more information about and understand them and already have a relationship with them? Why should we not also offer them this service? Can’t we do it better?”

Other traditional media organisations have also made the move into e-commerce. Time Inc’s InStyle launched InStyle Shopping back in 2007. And, in September 2012, Harper's Bazaar, owned by Hearst, launched the shopping site ShopBazaar. But these attempts to make editorial shoppable have been clunky, pushing readers away from content to complete their purchases. Importantly, Condé Nast’s platform will allow users to buy products featured in editorials with a one-click, universal checkout that works across publications.

But according to Newhouse, at Condé Nast, the ‘church and state’ separation between editorial and commercial operations will remain in place. “We’re not going to have e-commerce people telling the editors or the photographers what to feature in the magazines,” he said. “I’m sure there will be some communication, but it is not a question of turning our editors into salespeople. That’s not our intention.” The fact that the new venture is a marketplace removes some of the pressure to shift merchandise, which would otherwise, under a traditional wholesale model, have already been bought and kept in inventory.

“Consumers have been asking for this for some time. And in some cases, our editors have been too,” added Sauerberg. “Our editors are still going to have control over their content on their platforms. They’re going to be doing what they’ve always done best. So there’s not going to be any change in terms of our operating approach. It’s set up as a separate company for a reason.”

“There is a wall between the two and there needs to be a wall between the two,” added Zayan. “That said, we obviously need to work with the magazines to be better prepared with what the magazines are publishing or creating. In a way, we should be seen as a layer of service to their readers and to their editorial content.”

Condé Nast’s new e-commerce venture is part of a wider drive to open new revenue streams in response to declining print advertising sales. “Our magazine business is strong. It’s still a great business and will be forever,” said Sauerberg. “Consider this e-commerce business one part of a big media company’s business. It’s not a story of one versus the other; it’s a story of ‘and’ — magazines and websites and video and, now, an e-commerce business.”

But while Condé Nast’s publications are world-class generators of inspiration and desire for fashion products, e-commerce is outside the company’s core competency.

“The hardest thing is always getting the best people — experienced, talented, capable people,” acknowledged Newhouse, saying that work on the project began almost four years ago. Zayan joined the venture in January 2014 and currently oversees a team of 80 people. “We’ve spent longer to prepare for this project than anything else in my entire career — and the reason is because it’s new.”
businessoffashion.com


Last edited by lemeray; 27-04-2015 at 02:06 PM.
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27-04-2015
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Hmmm I don't know about this. I think Style.com is great at the moment but American Vogue in general is so boring...

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