A year ago they launched Porter, in the vein of Vogue and Tatler.
While it may be expected for companies to migrate from traditional to modern, Net-a-porter wanted to invest in a print title at a time when magazine readership is on the decline.
There was also concern that it would be too much of a sales push - clearly the aim is for people to buy their clothes, which could make it more of a catalogue than a magazine.
A year later, let’s see how successful it was…
A magazine with ecommerce in mind
Net-a-porter already had experience with a small online sales mag – it wasn’t particularly long, usually a handful of articles, mostly showcasing the fashion brands that they stock, with clickable images to shop the items.
It was a typical mag/newsletter platform aimed at driving customers to products, an ecommerce promotional tool.
For the printed Porter magazine, each article features clothes that can be scanned via a free app, allowing the reader to be linked to the product to buy it. The tablet version of the mag has a direct link.
So the concept is similar, but embracing a traditional method – a real printed product – rather than purely online, and with it bargaining that the costs of the mag will be matched by either sales or exposure.
A year since the launch, and sales are good with a circulation of 152,000 (Vogue has 191,000 for comparison).
So, it works?
Porter magazine has a clear agenda. Its popularity would imply that customers care more about reading a good magazine with a novel function than the marketing behind it - but that is a personal choice. Would you be happy to read a magazine with a clear sales strategy?
As Net-a-porter stocks a huge variety of high-end designers, the magazine is not limited to one or only a couple of brands, which I think is essential to it not seeming like a catalog (the magazine does feature non-competing products from other sources too).
When you consider that the designers at Net-a-porter are the ones being showcased in Vogue anyway, perhaps, from a consumer point of view, rather than feeling like a sales pitch, it's actually handy. You can see something you like, and then have an easy way to buy.
Personally I would probably want to shop around anyway, so for me I would be unlikely to just click and buy, as I would want to compare to other online shops.
But we must also consider audience and availability - a lot of designers can't just be bought anywhere, so shopping around isn't an option, and some people may not have the time or inclination to investigate. Bear in mind that the magazine is aimed at people who will pay a premium for designer garments.
Quality Content alongside easy Online Shopping
This article [link: http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2015/feb/24/porter-content-marketing-vogue-fashion in The Guardian praises the way Net-a-porter have approached the magazine, listing five areas that have been considered. It highlights how ecommerce development and technology (the apps) is used alongside print to enhance the product.
It also points out how the magazine is, at its core, a quality product with A-list cover stars and professional content clearly targeted to its audience.
Net-a-Porter and the Porter magazine are opposite to what you might expect - ecommerce first, traditional product second. This highlights the diversification available within both ecommerce development, mobile apps and traditional shopping.
About the author
Eastpoint Software Web and Mobile Apps Development Company Cambridge, London and UK.
We specialize in Ecommerce Development in Cambridge, UK and London and can create bespoke applications, responsive sites and customized versions of ready-made online shops.
Visit us: https://www.eastpoint.co.uk/eCommerce/