Red overhauls website with ecommerce focus

Red: overhauls website
Red: overhauls website

Publisher Hachette Filipacchi is overhauling its digital strategy for its older-women's lifestyle glossy title Red, with the launch of a revamped website later this year.

The monthly magazine is overhauling its web offering to capitalise on the wealth of its readership, which, according to Hachette, has been mostly "unaffected by the recession".

Despite a strong newsstand performance, Red currently has only a basic website, with minimal content and a sign-up page for its monthly email newsletter.

However, Hachette also operates a well-established tie-in ecommerce platform called Red Direct, an online boutique that sells products from brands including jewellery designers Alex Monroe and Monica Vinader as well as lifestyle labels such as Missoni Home.

The revamped website will boost Red's digital offering with a range of dedicated content and channels, including a daily deals section.

The site is designed to increase Red's interaction with its readers online by giving them reasons to visit each day. Features will range from "What you should eat tonight", to shopping advice from Red's panel of experts.

Hachette is in the process of appointing an editorial team to run the new site, which will be overseen by digital and brand strategy director Anna Jones, and editor-in-chief Sam Baker. The site will launch by the end of the year.

According to Jones, the site will be unique in the market, with daily content backed by "strong commercial partnerships offering exclusive deals and content for visitors".

Over the past 12 months, using "daily deals" as a marketing mechanic has grown in popularity with publishers running ecommerce sites.

News International's women's magazine, Fabulous, issued with the News of the World, already has a dedicated shopping channel featuring limited deals and offers on its website.

Elsewhere, rival publisher Bauer has created an invitation-only fashion shopping "members club" Cocosa. This offers discounted clothing and accessories from luxury brands that can be bought online during "limited-time" sales.

Red's web relaunch follows strong sales of the magazine, which has positioned itself as the "thinking women's glossy". This February, the magazine recorded its highest-ever ABC with a circulation of more than 226,000 – a figure it is expected to top in this week's ABCs.

Red is on the hunt for commercial partners for the site. It also intends to integrate Red Direct, enabling readers to click to buy key items.

The idea of combining ecommerce with editorial is intended to appeal to consumers frustrated by trying to find items featured in fashion magazines which are then not available in store.

Additionally, in a bid to boost reader loyalty, the site will carry offers available only to subscribers.

The relaunch comes amid an explosion in the popularity of fashion blogs among UK consumers. These include the highly successful Wearing It Today blog created by Laura Fantacci, contributing fashion editor at Red.

According to Hachette, Red's core readership comprises women between their mid-20s and mid-40s. The title has been credited with publishing more realistic fashion spreads featuring older models, and more thought-provoking features than the average British women's glossy.

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