ELLE Launches Social Commerce On Facebook
The mag curates products in a pop-up "Trend Report" on its fan page.
This story first appears on FOLIO: sister site, minonline.
We had "e-commerce" then "m-commerce" and more recently "t-commerce" (tablet commerce for those still catching up). Get ready to add "S-Commerce" to the endless digital lexicon. Hearst Digital Media has given us âsocial commerceâ this week via a new feature at ELLE magazineâs Facebook page. The magazine is curating a series of products featured in a pop-up âTrend Reportâ on its fan page that links directly to the purchase pages for a range of retailers and brands.
The Trend Guide is a Facebook tab that identifies six trends of the season: Flower Girl, Sea World, Sporting Goods, Portrait of a Lady, Showgirls and Wanderlust. Each trend opens up a gallery of related goods. Users can follow an ELLE âLexiconâ of tags or what ELLE calls âcustom gesturesâ that let them âLoveâ an item, add it to their âWantâ list or just declare on the social net that they already Own it. These gestures and related icons are posted as a âShoppable Storyâ to oneâs timeline, newsfeed or ticker. Or you can just tap the Buy! button to get kicked over to the partnerâs order page.
Affiliates in the program include Gucci, Bebe, AG Jeans, Nine West, Tommy Hilfiger and many others. The new functionality on ELLEâs Facebook page will be promoted via email, site and a Facebook ad campaign. Hearst partnered with 8thBridge, whose platform enables integration of transactions within the Facebook network.
Although this is an experiment in âS-commerceâ ELLE SVP, publisher and chief revenue officer Kevin OâMalley tells minonline that the first version of the model actually doesnât involve revenue. âIn this deal there is no rev share,â he says. Although the buy buttons deep-link directly to the respective itemâs sell page at the vendor, ELLE deliberately planned the first version to run without affiliate revenue sharing. âNo one really knows if Facebook is a platform for transactional commerce,â OâMalley explains. âIn iteration 1.0 we didnât want to do a rev share and we said this to all participating brands.â It is a learning experience for everyone. ELLE wants to offer consumers the ability to follow inspiration to making the buy, but it is unclear yet whether consumers' social network is the place readers want to shop.
But OâMalley emphasizes that this Trend Guide program was designed to profit the ELLE brand and its partners regardless of sales. The custom Love, Want and Own gestures put the ELLE brand and the partnerâs item on the readerâs wall with a link for all their friends to see and buy it. âThe value proposition for us is that even if we donât make a sale, this becomes like a shopping widget that goes out on her wall where friends can see it.â ELLE is adding to the Facebook experience by crafting icons and sentiments that are more nuanced than the somewhat blunt instrument of a âLike.â
ELLE already has e-commerce relationships with Rue LaLa and HMS. OâMalley says that for now the actual e-commerce revenues for the media company are âsmall but growing.â With every experiment like this, however, the company learns more about how to leverage its editorial authority in moving people to buy as well as the kinds of things people will and wonât be likely to purchase on the Web.
The next iteration of the S-commerce Trend Guide will focus on beauty to synchronize with the summer months and the heightened concern for skin and cosmetics. The fall version of the Trend Guide will be refreshed to focus on accessories and will accompany and support the re-launch of the suspended ELLE Accessories brand.
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