Time Inc. Buys Social Shopping Site StyleFeeder
E-commerce infrastructure will integrate with InStyle group.
Time Inc. announced today that it is acquiring StyleFeeder, a destination site and social e-commerce enabler for fashion products. The company plans to integrate StyleFeeder’s shopping technology into the InStyle brand.
Terms of the deal were not revealed, but The Wall Street Journal reported the sale price was "well into eight figures."
E-commerce may be seen as a less-sexy sibling to paid online content as publishers search for alternative revenue streams in a very tight advertising market. Yet the strategy has been getting serious attention.
Hearst just yesterday relaunched its social shopping site Kaboodle, which it bought in 2007 for around $40 million, and, interestingly, StyleFeeder and Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. announced a strategic partnership in March through which StyleFeeder provides ELLE.com visitors with product recommendations and purchase opportunities.
How the Hachette partnership, and any other affiliate deals, will play out remains to be seen. A Time Inc. spokesperson said the company is having conversations with those partners now, but it’s too early say how they’ll evolve.
StyleFeeder already has 1 million of its own registered members and 600,000 monthly uniques, per comScore. That will be combined with InStyle.com’s comScore reported 1.5 million monthly uniques.
"This is a strategic step in building on our digital success," said Fran Hauser, president of digital for the Style & Entertainment group, in a statement. "StyleFeeder’s e-commerce technology will open the door to new transactional revenue streams and give the InStyle community an experience they can’t find anywhere else online."
The technology behind StyleFeeder pulls content from "thousands" of retailers and offers personalized product recommendations based on user input. The service also allows users to rate products, interact with other community members and filter products based on price and style attributes.
Going forward, Time Inc. plans to incorporate the technology into other style-friendly brands, namely People StyleWatch, People en Espanol and Essence, said the spokesperson.