NEW YORK — Traditional and digital media are merging for the industry’s latest social shopping experiment.
Lucky magazine has chosen social shopping platform ThisNext as its official shopping partner, and the two will launch a co-branded site today on luckymag.com. and ThisNext.com.
This story first appeared in the July 8, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The initiative is the first that really defines the term “social shopping,” claimed ThisNext’s chief executive officer Matt Edelman. Staff from Lucky will select their must-have apparel and accessory items, and ThisNext users will be able to populate their own editorialized shopping guides featuring products showcased in the pages of the magazine, share items they like with friends and directly shop the editor picks.
“In the modern world, you can’t just be an entity on your own domain, you have to be wherever people are shopping. Women want to share what they love about fashion and what Matt [Edelman] has done is create a nice platform for women to be able to share with their trusted friends about what they are going to buy or the promise of what they might get,” Lucky magazine’s editor in chief Brandon Holley said. “Lucky really only does one thing, which makes it very nimble. We are all about shopping and getting you to shop and buy things — more than any other magazine. Because we do that one thing, it translates nicely to apps, extensions and partnerships.”
Through this partnership, both entities are using off-site ways to cross-promote their branded sites, and as a result, simultaneously combining their existing audiences while gaining new visitors. Luckymag.com can average more than 1.8 million page views in a week and ThisNext receives upward of 3 million visitors a month.
Holley said each side stands to gain from such a partnership. “We are getting them to click through to our content and vice versa. It’s an exchange of content and audience.”
Billed as the largest independent social shopping platform, ThisNext has seen an 80 percent increase in page views from 2010. According to Edelman, ThisNext differentiates itself from competitors such as TheFind.com, ShopStyle, Kaboodle and Polyvore — which he labels as “technology-driven and crowdsourced comparison shopping search engines” — by focusing on the meaning of the world “social.”
“Social engagement is about two-way communications between people. When women shop, they discuss the products they’re considering buying with their close friends. Those conversations help women make more informed shopping decisions, which in turn makes them feel great about what they’re buying,” Edelman said. “Providing a permanent forum for that dialogue in an environment designed for shopping is what makes us different.”
To him, the above sites merely inspire shoppers to create social content surrounding products, which ultimately manifests into reviews from strangers. “That’s not social shopping,” Edelman said.
Holley added: “The idea of women creating communities and speaking about clothes, beauty products and signature items that they want is a great place for us to be. It’s the next evolution.”
ThisNext declined to disclose the details of their arrangement with Lucky, but the partnership includes opportunities for both parties to gain income through commerce and brand advertising.