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.
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 couture.zappos.com and Zappos.com 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.