Over the past year or so we’ve witnessed a whole host of big names in the world of online retail shifting the focus of their marketing activities - and more specifically, of their websites - to content. Blogging, videos, lookbooks, interactive editorial, ‘shoppable content’, collaborations; everyone seems to be playing the content marketing game at the moment.
But what would happen if this phenomenon were turned on its head; if an online content creator or publisher were to turn their hand to ecommerce? What would that look like?
Well friends, we’re about to find out because, as of yesterday, well-know glossy mag Grazia’s online store - Graziashop.com - opened its virtual doors to online shoppers. And it turns out that this content-creator-turned-online-retailer has a few lessons to teach anyone in commerce wanting to create great content.
Here are three reasons we love Graziashop.com:
1) Ecommerce experience
First, to business. While it might not be breaking too much new ground in the online shopping stakes, Graziashop.com offers a pretty slick buying experience with a nice look, a well thought-through structure and a solid checkout process.
Simple but effective product pages: Graziashop.com’s product pages tick all the boxes when it comes to essentials like clear layout, quality images, intelligent cross-sell and displaying shipping and returns info.
Scrollable images on the category page: jumping from category page to product page too many times (also known as ‘pogo-sticking’) has been proven to harm conversions - Grazia counteracts this by allowing browsers to inspect multiple views of products while still on the category page, better-informing their decision to click through to find out more.
Super helpful dropdowns: Graziashop.com’s dropdowns cater to every type of shopper - those who want to shop by product type, by designer, by ‘trend’ or those who want to browse the editorial pieces. Each dropdown also features a very tempting category-specific ‘item of the week’ (check out the ‘bags’ menu below).
Straightforward checkout process: Grazia has cleverly cut out the faff surrounding the checkout process - if you’re not signed in, you’re automatically directed to a guest checkout (with the option of signing in for existing account holders), and you can create a password and account later. Tidy.
Okay, so now onto the area in which Graziashop.com really excells itself: its content.
The first thing that really struck me when I arrived at the website was that (aside from the top menu bar which was a bit of a giveaway) the homepage felt far more like an online publication than an ecommerce store - see for yourself below.
The beauty of this approach is that while it incorporates all the regular homepage > category page > product page hierarchy that online consumers are used to (especially helpful for those who know exactly what they want and want to get to it fast), the content-centricity of the whole site, where polished editorial and directly shoppable products are blended almost seamlessly, means you hardly feel as though you’re being sold to at all.
‘Grazify Yourself’: a section that features interviews with Grazia fashion editors recommending products or looks for the season. And - of course - everything is directly shoppable within the store in a ‘shop the shoot’ section at the bottom.
Trend report: Like any glossy mag, the site covers styles for the season which mixes editorial with catwalk photography with editor picks from within the store, as well as user-uploaded looks (more on that later).
Hot drops: On a page that looks like it’d be at home in any lifestyle magazine, the ‘hot drops’ section of Graziashop.com is a weekly-updated list of ten must-have items from the store.
Admittedly Grazia started from a pretty sweet position when it comes to audience (it currently has a readership nearing 400,000), not to mention having an established tone of voice, a clear target demographic and all of the authority and trust that comes with being a recognised media title.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, all of this has been played up in the marketing surrounding the launch (see below).
A photo posted by Graziashop.com (@graziashop) on
Interestingly, the site also incorporates a ‘Fashion Stories’ section, which encourages users to set up profiles on the site and create ‘edits’ of their own, which can be followed or shared by other users (most of the items on their are shoppable too).
Much like Polyvore and a similar offering from Free People, this is a clever move, as it gives fans the chance to create their own platform and amass a following within the store itself - something that’s great for keeping prospects engaged with the brand.
Given the current trend for content-led websites, it’ll be interesting to see how Graziashop.com fares, and whether other online publishers will follow in its footsteps. Certainly, while it’s an extreme example of a ‘content over commerce’ approach to online retailing, it provides a lot of fodder for those wanting to take their store down a more editorial route.
How do you think the Grazia store will fare? Let us know in the comment section below!