Given how much has changed in digital commerce over the past decade, it may seem like the evolution from basic e-commerce to all that we have now has been a quick one. And for some sectors (e.g., electronics, beauty), it has. For others, however, fashion, in particular, getting on-board the progress train has been a challenge; for every Burberry pioneer, there are at least a handful of Prada laggards. This inconsistency has frustrated not only shoppers but also magazines that want to make their digital pages shoppable. When the Alexander Wang dress and Bing Bang earrings are a click away but the Christian Louboutin for Roland Mouret shoes and Akris clutch are labeled “not available online,” the online experience feels incomplete, frustrating.
Even so, the magazine world can’t sit around and wait for every designer to digitally catch up–and they aren’t. Just this week ELLE launched the industry’s first entirely shoppable Facebook trend report, a feature that allows fans to look, share and purchase clothing and accessories from each of the season’s six big trends. The benefit of launching this experience on Facebook is that the user can remain on the social networking site while exploring the magazine. For ELLE, the advantage is increased traffic. With more than 600,000 Facebook fans, the fashion magazine’s concentrated community will be more likely to click over to the new report, which is prominently displayed at the top of its feed. On a tablet app or even on ELLE.com, not only are the audiences smaller and the placement of the new report less conspicuous but the barriers to sharing are far greater as well.
The most interesting part of efforts like this is whether the availability or unavailability of designers’ e-commerce will begin to influence editors’ picks. For example, if the perfect pair of sunglasses for the trend report isn’t for sale online, will a fashion director still choose them, even though an almost perfect pair is available? Time will tell. But if I were a designer, I wouldn’t wait around to find out the answer.
(Images via Facebook)