Net-a-porter.com's business continues to grow, and the company is moving in new directions.
Following a redesign of its Web site that increased sales, the company plans to take advertising in its online magazine and has hired fashion editor Colin McDowell of The Sunday Times of London as creative editor at large to oversee its editorial pages. In the fall, Net-a-porter will open a separate off-price retail site called TheOutnet.com.
"The beginning of the year was a bit soft," admitted founder Natalie Massenet, "but now it's rebounded enormously. We've had our biggest weeks ever in the last two weeks. The new Web site helped conversion. The average item price has gone from $1,000 to $1,200. We're encouraged by it."
While Net-a-porter has hundreds of thousands of customers, it also has 1.5 million unique visitors who come to the site to view its editorial content. Some are customers, some not, but the demographics of the two groups are similar, said Massenet.
The company hopes to innovate with online advertising that is more attractive to fashion firms than the usual banner ads, she said. "We're trying to upgrade the experience for everybody."
The ads will appear just like pages in a print magazine. Post-redesign, the online magazine looks like a print magazine or catalogue with pages that can be flipped or turned. It contains house ads and blank spaces now on pages where paid ads will appear in the future.
Only clothing brands that Net-a-porter already sells will be allowed to advertise, but jewelry, beauty and luxury firms are welcomed, said Massenet.
Net-a-porter already takes ads in its print magazine, Notes. She declined to reveal advertising rates.
Net-a-porter is not the first e-tailer to take advertising. ASOS.com and Amazon.com publish online ads, and the Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus print catalogues and magazines also feature advertising.
The redesign streamlined navigation and search. Pages are also wider. More recently, the company added foreign language pages for France and Germany, the largest of its 150 markets outside the U.S. and U.K.
Eventually, advertising could make up 10 percent of the company's business.
As for TheOutnet.com, it is a natural extension of Net-a-porter's existing business, she added. "We actually have that market in our business model and now we're going to pull it out. There is very little crossover between our full-price and sale customer." The new site will carry unsold, out-of-season items from the full-price site as well as off-price merchandise Net-a-porter never carried, said Massenet.
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)