André Leon Talley is leaving his post as artistic director of Amazon-owned Zappos Couture this week. Zappos is not renewing his contract, presumably because the partnership did not increase sales. The former Vogue editor was responsible for turning around the e-tailers’ anti-fashion reputation with content such as fashion shoots, videos and a style blog called ZeeCee.

The short-lived (yearlong) hiring of the fashion insider is just one example of Amazon’s struggle to become a major player in luxury and fashion. A graph from L2’s Intelligence Report: Amazon shows just 15% of Fashion brands distribute on Amazon vs. 100% of Home Care and 93% of Personal Care brands.

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Yet, the ZeeCee blog and Zappos Couture content wasn’t quite engineered for success. In other words, Zappos hosted content in every way that L2 advises against in its recent Content & Commerce report. A few mistakes not to repeat:

ZeeCee by ALT is hosted under a separate microsite, leaving visitors to and oblivious to its existence. Blogs hosted on a separate site receive as little as 0.2 to 0.5% of main brand URL traffic and have a bounce rate two to three times higher.

Posts lead to a dead-end, or a list of un-curated products from a single brand. Talley’s post about the Fashion First Family (aka Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, and baby North) was a missed opportunity to link to a curated products to get the look.

Search visibility is low. The blog does not appear in first-page search results for Zappos Couture.

Zappos is just one example of brands investing in content without a full plan for how to use it to influence purchase decisions or brand awareness. The takeaway: content producers – albeit celebrity ones – will not bring sales unless truly collaborating with the e-commerce team.


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