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Refinery29 launches revamped e-commerce site

Fashion editorial website Refinery29 revamped e-commerce site R29 Shops on June 28, says Patrick Yee, VP of business development at Refinery29.

“Our e-commerce launch has been kind of an extension of what we’ve been doing well for years: creating practical content from our editorial team,” Yee says. The online shops are informed by partnerships between  ditorial staff and designers, he says.

“We’ve gotten to a size where the audience is interested in shopping our point of view,” Yee says, adding that because readers like to buy what Refinery29 writes about, this was a natural extension of the brand. Refinery29 now has 1 million email subscribers and more than 60 million page views per month. The scale of the company, Yee says, made developing an e-commerce platform a worthwhile investment.

Refinery29 worked with Sweden Unlimited to build the e-commerce platform, he says, adding that Refinery29 initially launched its first e-commerce store called “Boutiques” in 2007. R29 Shops is designed to be a richer, more integrated experience for the consumer, Yee says.

Refinery29’s readers, who tend to be professional, creative women ages 21 to 40, are the core target customers for R29 Shops. Refinery29’s audience also tends to be urbanites with high household incomes — an average of about $85,000 per year, Yee says, and the target customers of R29 Shops tend to be aspirational in their buying habits.

R29 Shops also integrates Facebook and Twitter, allowing users to sign in through the social media platforms, Yee says. It also includes a social media sharing button, which Refinery29’s readers are already used to using when sharing editorial content.

Refinery29 isn’t the first fashion publisher to step into e-commerce. In April, ELLE launched its first ever e-commerce campaign on Facebook.

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