LONDON — Net-a-porter is looking to appeal to customers’ eyes — and ears — with a bigger focus on video, podcasts and digital content, as it reduces the frequency of its print title Porter to twice a year, WWD has learned.
The retailer said it has been witnessing an “explosive growth” in digital consumption and engagement and, in response, plans to open new video studios and editing suites in a bid to produce socially led content with speed and agility.
The move makes sense, the company said, as the shopper who watches, reads and listens to content spends about 10 percent more than the one who has not been exposed to content.
Those digitally engaged shoppers are also increasingly discovering and connecting with fashion through social media and influencers. Since last year, Net said, its digital audience reach has grown approximately 1.5 times, with reader engagement increasing nearly 50 percent. Some 50 percent of Net’s total orders are now being placed via mobile devices.
In addition to the video studios, Net said it is planning to increase its investment in podcasts, in more personalized and localized content, and in redesigning its daily content offering on the app, which is being redesigned.
Concurrent with the increased shift to digital, the print magazine Porter will publish as a global bi-annual “event edition” with guest editors and limited-edition cover treatments. Going forward, the magazine will highlight brand franchises such as Incredible Women.
The magazine comes out six times a year, and the summer escape issue will be published in June. It will be followed by the new bi-annual issue in early spring 2020.
“As a digital pure-play business with content at our heart, we are committed to delivering the most engaging experience and service to our customers,” said Alison Loehnis, president Net-a-porter and Mr Porter. “To that end, we are further ramping up our digital output, with increased investment across video, podcasts and social to ensure that our content offering remains innovative and market-leading.”
Loehnis added that Net’s editorial voice “remains integral to our business, allowing us to celebrate Incredible Women and Incredible Fashion, while giving heart to our brand values. This is something we treasure and are committed to preserving.”
The glossy magazine Porter, with its lush fashion shoots and long-form features launched in February 2014 as a bimonthly. Earlier this year, its founding editor and global content director Lucy Yeomans, and its publisher Tess Macleod Smith, left the title.
The move to reduce Porter’s frequency — and put a bigger focus on digital content — dovetails with parent company Richemont’s push into the e-commerce space and into emerging markets such as China. It also chimes with news and media organizations’ shift to digital over print.
Net already has a weekly digital magazine, The Edit, in addition to Porter. It has also created the Porter Digital platform, which brings all of its media outlets together. The content is also translated into four languages — English, French, German and Mandarin — in line with the company’s global outlook.