Rue La La has joined the content bandwagon with a new site component called Rue Now.
The content site contains what Rue deems the most relevant fashion and lifestyle content from across the web, chosen by the company’s team of curators.
The company said that its members have long engaged with the company as a media platform, visiting at least 2 times a week to discover new fashion brands and trends. Rue Now is geared toward supplementing the daily shopping boutiques with fashion and lifestyle news.
The content option is available whether at a desktop or on a mobile device. Rue said nearly 60 percent of its sales are now on mobile.
Steve Davis, chief executive officer of Rue, said, “The future of retail and e-tail is not just about buying the product, but about an experience that drives sales.”
Davis said in an interview that his company has garnered two key insights from its customers: “The first is that content over the last three years has played a much more meaningful role in our commerce initiatives….Our members are also telling us how hungry they are for more inspirational content.”
Davis explained that Rue customers have said “they don’t want to check Facebook as a newsfeed as they used to.” Further, some customers said they also don’t know how to easily find the fashion content. Because Rue is now a destination for its members, “we curate for them and bring them the content so they don’t have to find it,” the ceo concluded.
In the last eight weeks, the company has been in beta testing of the platform with select members, with an eye on how they use the section and adapt to it. So far in the test about 20 percent of members are engaging in the content component every day. “Visitation [levels] by our customers who are accessing content have increased by 50 percent,” Davis said.
The plan is to have 15 articles published throughout the day, a number that Davis said is expected to ramp up. So far what’s published right now is not original content, but curated fashion content from around the web, whether from bloggers or media destinations. Where Rue has permission to publish the material, it will do so, otherwise will just provide a summary of the content and provide the user with information on where to find it, according to Davis.
The ceo also said that when Rue members are on the site, the engagement time on average is about 7 to 8 minutes, whether they buy or not. The core customer profile for Rue is an affluent female between her early 20s to late 40s.
While fashion and accessories dominate most purchases, home is a growing category. From time to time, there are special offers such as luxury travel destinations, and those experiences seem to garner good results from members, Davis said.
There have been rumblings since 2014 that Rue might be on the block, but Davis sidestepped that answer. “First and foremost, we are building Rue to be a standalone company. We continue to be on that march,” Davis said, noting that Rue was profitable in 2015 for the first time, underscoring the “success we are building.”
He added that Rue’s members continue to love the flash-sale model. “It’s a new reason for them to check on Rue every day. Consumers are not shying away from the model. Our focus is on how to be a different destination hourly, not just daily,” Davis said.