Why are retailers publishing paid-subscription magazines?
In a recent column for Wired, Federico Marchetti, CEO of YOOX Net-a-Porter, explained that the luxury e-tailer publishes its subscription magazine, Porter, in print because retail content is integral to combining online and offline worlds.
“Selling has always been about storytelling — a model known as C2C, or content-to-commerce,” Mr. Marchetti wrote. “This is what I had in mind when l created YOOX in 1999 as an ‘entertailer’: part etailer and part entertainer. And over the years we have developed many content collaborations — from work with Margherita Missoni and Malcolm McLaren to projects such as enabling consumers to shop directly via showings of Nick Knight’s Fashion Film.”
The “power of C2C” may be evident in the fact that the magazine’s subscribers have become the retailer’s biggest spenders. Mr. Marchetti added, “Combining content and commerce is the way to excite customers.”
Porter’s annual subscription (six issues) costs $25.
Another believer in retail content is Jen Rubio, chief-brand officer of the luggage start-up, Away. In 2017, Away launched Here, a quarterly travel magazine available in print ($10 an issue) and online (free) with an in-house editorial team.
Ms. Rubio told Social Media Week, “It actually came about, in part, because our customers had come to really trust our guidance on everything related to travel — so much so that they were calling our customer service line to ask for suggestions ahead of an upcoming trip! So we saw an opportunity to continue to connect with our customers in a way that provides tangible value.”
Subscription print magazines are also being published by Dollar Shave Club, bed-in-a-box pioneer Casper, MyTheresa.com (the Munich-based luxury e-tailer acquired by Neiman Marcus in 2014) and Hodinkee (seller of high-end wristwatches).
Adam Alter, associate professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business, told Adweek, “Today, the quickest way to establish your brand is often by sharing content, by producing stand-alone content in the form of blog posts and images that are curated to showcase your brand, so it appeals to the consumers you’re targeting.”
Many retailers now offer free content online and have added magazines at a time when Glamour, Teen Vogue, Self, Seventeen and Redbook have ended their print publications.
- Print is not dead. In retail, content creates customer loyalty – Wired
- Porter Subscription
- 5 Questions with Jen Rubio, Co-Founder & Chief Brand Officer, Away – Social Media Work
- Here Magazine – Away
- Why Young Companies Are Starting Print Magazines as a Way to Help Build Their Brands – Adweek
- Building Out Their Brands, Retailers Look to the Power of Print – Folio
- Mytheresa.com CEO Talks Launch of Company’s Print Magazine, And Vision For Brick-And-Mortar Store – Forbes
- MyTheresa Launches Print Magazine – Business Of Fashion
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What’s driving retailers to publish print magazines and the C2C (content-to-commerce) trend in general? What advice would you have for retailers deciding whether to offer free or paid content?