A BAZAAR shopping experience

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Online shopping is a multi-billion dollar business.
Online shopping is a multi-billion dollar business.

The 145-year-old Hearst fashion publication Harper's BAZAAR has updated its digital wardrobe. The magazine teamed up with e-commerce platform provider Magento to launch ShopBAZAAR, an e-commerce site that allows readers to shop for items featured in the magazine.

“We're really now the only fashion magazine that offers this complete fashion experience,” says Wendy Lauria, executive director of brand development and integrated marketing at Harper's BAZAAR. “We're connecting women from the pages of the magazine, which is the point of inspiration, to purchasing the product at the site.”

“This is designed to be, as Hearst looks at it, a transformative project for the company,” adds Ben Pressley, Magento's head of worldwide sales. “This will be a really exciting, new way to monetize the Harper's BAZAAR brand.”

Harper's Bazaar Publisher Carol Smith refers to ShopBAZAAR as an “elevated Amazon marketplace,” Lauria says. ShopBAZAAR brings items from high-end designers including Saks, Alexander Wang, Michael Kors, and Salvatore Ferragamo into one centralized shopping experience. To marry the print brand with the digital experience, ShopBAZAAR features The BAZAAR Book—a collection of trend articles written by BAZAAR editors specifically for the e-commerce site—and popular magazine sections, such as Fabulous at Every Age. Furthermore, readers can look for the BAZAAR “B” icon in the magazine pages to see which trends will be available on ShopBAZAAR, and shoppers can search for the symbol while on the site to drive them back to the publication.

“We're making it possible for the readers to shop the pages of the magazine without leaving the brand and [make a] purchase. It gives them a fully integrated experience,” Lauria says. “Carol [Smith, publisher] always quotes our mission statement, which I love. ‘A magazine doesn't last 145 years by standing still.'”

Pressley says ShopBAZAAR is “really a continuation of the conversation that their audience would like to have.”

Along with promoting ShopBAZAAR through a soft launch, as well as in the printed magazine, online, email, and blogs, Lauria says Harper's BAZAAR plans to promote the e-commerce site even more through social, particularly through Pinterest, where Harper's BAZAAR has more than 5.6 million followers.

“We're the number one brand on Pinterest right now,” Lauria says. “It's so odd because two years ago, there was no Pinterest, and now it's a really big tool. It's really cool.”

Harper's BAZAAR is the pilot for this print-digital infusion at Hearst; however, Lauria says Hearst aims to create similar e-commerce experiences for its other brands, such as Esquire. While Harper's BAZAAR is fostering its own e-commerce presence, Elle and GQ have also taken a stab at incorporating e-commerce by teaming up with outside partners.

“The print-digital revolution is something that's a great challenge and opportunity to established news and print services out there,” Pressley says. “For Hearst, this finally opened up a way to add value and monetize.”

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