TIME INC.’S E-COMMERCE PLAY: Time Inc. is pushing forward in its strategy to add e-commerce to its style and celebrity-centric titles.
The New York-based publisher has integrated new shoppable strategies into its People and Travel + Leisure brands. Magazine and newspaper publishers alike are revisiting the strategy of adding e-commerce to their businesses this year, despite prior lackluster attempts.
At People, Time has launched a Style section — not to be confused with People Style Watch, it’s other fashion title — aptly called “People Style.” The section, which launches online on Thursday, will also appear in print in People’s Sept. 21 issue, which hits newsstands on Friday. People Style will be a recurring addition to the celebrity-focused magazine, according to Andrea Lavinthal, People’s style and beauty director.
“People’s audience is obsessed with style and beauty; they can’t get enough of it,” offered Lavinthal. “Not only is our Style audience rapidly growing, but we are continuing to develop our engagement with them via news, videos and shoppable content.”
For those still wondering what the difference is between Style Watch and Style, a spokeswoman told WWD that Style Watch focuses on street style and shoppable/services catering to Millennials, while Style focuses on breaking style news and celebrity fashions, such as Red Carpet looks. The addition of a style section in People is another attempt to bring in more advertising dollars. The upcoming issue, which is billed as People’s September Style issue, carries 186 pages, 88 of which are ad pages, and features Melissa McCarthy on its cover. The Style section is about 30 pages, but going forward it will be a minimum of four pages, depending on breaking news. Digitally, the vertical will reside on PeopleStyle.com and on People’s Web site. It will feature a slate of new daily and weekly video programs. Other e-commerce opportunities for People include a Gilt Capsule collection, which goes live on Thursday.
Meanwhile, T+L has developed a new e-commerce initiative called Travel + Leisure Journeys, which is an editorially curated set of travel itineraries. The itineraries are offered in partnership with Black Tomato, an upscale travel agency that provides tailor-made trips for clients.
The partnership works under a revenue-share model; there isn’t an advertising component, according to T+L editor in chief Nathan Lump, who noted that all the itineraries are customizable.
“Philosophically for me, this is something I’ve wanted to do. I’ve wanted to close the gap for our readers,” Lump said, explaining that there’s a demand from readers looking to take the trips they read about in the magazine’s pages.
While competitors such as Afar have been working in the experiential travel space for some time now, Lump said very few of his rivals devote editorial pages to promoting in-house curated itineraries.
He pointed to a 13-page editorial spread in T+L’s October issue, which hits newsstands on Sept. 18, as an example, and noted that the itineraries represented trips his team is “most excited about.”
The editor also hinted that T+L is gearing up to roll out more e-commerce initiatives before the year is up.
“People have always looked to us for recommendations. We know that they are already looking for expertise to provide them with guidance,” he offered. “There is a desire for them to act on it in an easier way.”