Vogue Puts Mortar in E-Commerce
Only Advertisers Who Buy
Print Space Will Be Allowed
To Hawk on New Web Site
By SALLY BEATTY
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
January 3, 2005; Page B4
It is no secret that fashion companies have been slow to embrace the boom in online retailing. But Vogue magazine, the bible of the fashion world, has found a way to promote online fashion sales while also bolstering its ad pages.
This March, Condé Nast Publications' Vogue will launch shopvogue.com, an online-shopping Web site with a twist. Only fashion companies that advertise in Vogue's March issue will be allowed to sell their wares on the site.
Shopvogue.com comes after a successful online experiment in September called -- not surprisingly -- shopseptembervogue.com. That venture showed Vogue could help sell fashion goods online while selling ads.
The venture illustrates how magazines are discovering innovative ways to sell ads, amidst intensifying competition from specialized cable-TV channels and online media.
Vogue won't keep shopvogue.com up on the Web permanently. It is instead going online at peak times in the fashion world. Vogue's March issue is the magazine's first big look at new spring fashion, and shopvogue.com will stay up on the Web for six to eight weeks. September made sense because that is when women who aren't typical Vogue readers pick up the magazine to plot their new fall wardrobes.
As they could in September, visitors to shopvogue.com will be able to buy certain styles featured online by clicking a "buy now" icon on an advertiser's online ad, assuming the ad is set up for electronic-commerce or linked to an e-commerce site. Otherwise, ads will provide information about bricks-and-mortar stores where the featured items can be purchased.
As in September, the price of admission for fashion companies is the purchase of a full-page national ad in Vogue, which now costs about $100,000.