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Turning your readers into shoppers can reap rewards

Examples of media owners starting ecommerce businesses were presented to attendees today at FIPP’s Asia Pacific Digital Magazine Media Conference in Beijing, China.

Nicolas Floquet, COO, Hearst Fujingaho, Japan, spoke about ELLE’s ‘shop’ business, which began in 2009. ELLE Shop is now a fully fledged business, and uses content on ELLE’s website to drive traffic to the ecommerce site. ELLE Shop is now retailing 200 fashion brands, and this year will contribute more than 50 per cent of the brand’s net sales, according to Floquet.

Hearst has since tried to replicate this formula across other brands, and now boasts Fujingaho (retailing fine food) and ELLE à Table.

Floquet touched on three different areas to illustrate challenges when it comes to creating an online shopping environment for readers:
  • HR – you need specialist ecommerce people from each field. Think twice about getting editors to do it.

  • Platform – needs to be good/sound in each part of the project

  • Management – top management needs to enforce synergies between media and ecommerce teams.

Folquet said that although there are high risks involved, there is also much success potential, including:

  • Sourcing right kind of products
  • Edgy products vs mass products
  • Never ending UX improvement
  • Migrate early to smart device
  • Carefully watch competition
  • Watch overinvestment in acquisition if you’re not ready. Make sure everything is prepared before you spend too much money. 
“Content in ecommerce enriches content online and offline,” said Floquet. “Media and ecommerce offer a combined approach to help strengthen relationships with brands.”


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