SHOP YAHOO STYLE: Yahoo Style has dipped its toe into e-commerce with the launch of shoppable gift guides, the first of which features picks by Joe Zee. It’s the latest glimpse into a broader strategy by the tech giant and its chief executive officer Marissa Mayer to gain relevance and grow revenue via original content and an offering Zee said gives the online magazine an edge over traditional print media.
“Gift-giving can be tedious and can be hard and sometimes you don’t even know where to start, so for me, editorially, this was a no-brainer,” Zee said.
This story first appeared in the December 10, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The Yahoo Style editor in chief’s picks include a holiday candle from Tobi Tobin Designs, a set of cards from Anchor Paper Co. and a limited-edition tumbler from RVCC. His guide will be followed up next week with suggestions from Rachel Zoe.
Visitors to the page will be able to shop the items and pay for them in a single transaction.
“Everything you shop is really on demand, integrated into the editorial experience,” said Los Angeles-based Owliee ceo Flynn Adams, whose platform is hosting Yahoo Style’s e-commerce operation. The company works with retailers — including Aldo, Sony, Levi’s and Lacoste — on their e-commerce backbones.
“We created a mobile-first technology for Yahoo so all readers can shop from wherever they are,” Adams said.
It’s key in helping sustain momentum of the company’s mobile ad revenue business, which it said in October is expected to reach $1.2 billion for the year, passing Twitter and placing it under Google and Facebook in the number-one and -two spots, respectively, according to eMarketer.
It’s unclear how revenue from Yahoo Style’s new e-commerce capabilities will be allocated. Adams said Owliee acts “like how any other e-commerce service acts,” but she, along with Yahoo and Zee, declined to discuss details of the revenue model.
Yahoo tapped Zee earlier this year to oversee editorial at its recently launched Yahoo Style site, which featured Jessica Biel on its first cover in September. He pointed out the opportunities in his transition from print to digital with the gift guide a good case in point: turning items featured on a magazine page into an actual transaction.
“We did gift guides and we did it in print and you could never connect the dots fully to anyone,” he said.
Zee sees the shoppable gift guides as a launching pad for adding the capability elsewhere throughout Yahoo Style. There’s opportunity to make trend stories shoppable, he said as an example. The same goes for Yahoo Style’s original cover photo shoots, which take place nearly every week. He said readers have already been asking for that.
And it’s a big audience, at more than 800 million unique users monthly to Yahoo overall, a significant chunk of those being Millennials with an interest in fashion and a desire for the full experience. “They’re there,” he said. “They want this. They want to know how to be able to use this.”