Fairfax Media has revamped its e-commerce play with the launch of a new website, The Store.
The Store combines Fairfax’s previous shopping destinations which were branded The Sydney Morning Herald Shop and The Age Shop.
Fairfax digital commerce director Trudi Jenkins tells AdNews it is a “brand agnostic” approach, not linked to any particular masthead and feeds into the publisher’s broader revenue diversification strategy.
The website supports Australian designers and focuses on unique and unusual products, from art to fashion. It currently has no plans to hold advertising, prioritising its drop ship model where designers load their own products and its rich editorial content.
Jenkins joined the company in May with a background in e-commerce and magazines, previously founding startup hardtofind. She was brought on to lead the launch of the AFR Shop, before ultimately deciding a one-stop shop would be more feasible for Fairfax.
“From a marketing perspective it is easier to drive all sales through the one URL and also communicate one message in market,” Jenkins says.
“With 13 million people engaged with Fairfax, if we could get only 10% of those readers to buy something once a year for $50 we are looking at a healthy revenue source.”
“When I was brought on I had a look at the product mix and I determined it was a little bit random. Since then I’ve distilled it down to core categories.
"The Store has items you won’t find in David Jones; it’s not Chanel and Prada and it’s not high street products. It’s a range of unusual Australian design that has a story to tell.”
The Store will also offer content from various curators who have handpicked selections of products. There will be profiles on the designers as well as a focus on video content. While the site doesn't currently host advertising, there is an opportunity for brands to get involved through content marketing and EDMs.
Profiles of the designers will be featured on The Store
“It’s not just an e-commerce site – it will be rich editorially. More and more retailers are becoming publishers so we are just doing it the other way,” Jenkins says.
“Telstra and other businesses are going into content marketing to make their businesses more interesting, but we already have the content available so we just needed the ecommerce element.”
The site will be promoted through a Meet the Makers radio series on 2UE, as well as a print and digital campaign across Fairfax’s assets. In November, a 36-page Christmas Gift guide will be available in Fairfax newspapers promoting The Store.
When asked on how the site will maintain editorial independence, Jenkins says the team of 16 will be turning down more than it will be saying yes to.
“The site is meant to appeal to Fairfax’s slightly older, discerning audience. It’s not about fast fashion or discounting. So many e-commerce platforms are on the race to the bottom at the moment but we won’t play in that space.”
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