Social Commerce

Elle Magazine Experiments with Curated Social Trend Catalogues [Screenshots]

In a world where content wants to be free, the publishing industry is searching for a saviour.  Could it be social commerce?  ELLE Magazine has launched two parallel social commerce experiments on Pinterest and on Facebook – based on the concept of editorially curated and shoppable trend catalogues.

In a nutshell, ELLE is using Facebook and Pinterest to create trend catalogues that could be monetized through affiliate payments.  Speaking about the Facebook Trend Reports, as they’ve been branded, chief revenue officer Kevin O’Malley for ELLE, says the first step of the experiment is to see whether it works without affiliate monetization;

“In iteration 1.0 we didn’t want to do a rev share and we said this to all participating brands… No one really knows if Facebook is a platform for transactional commerce,”

ELLE’s Facebook Trend Reports are notable for their Open Graph integration, using 8thBridge’s Graphite solution for custom Facebook buttons (Love Want and Own), But Mashable takes the magazine to task for not giving the Trend Reports the same care and attention they give to the trend reports on their website; indeed it’s unclear why a $895 diamond dress earrings are the headline of the sports-look trend…

Already with a commercial relationship with flash e-commerce sales site Rue La La, could ‘social catalogue curation’ provide a new business model for the publishing industry?





Chartered psychologist specialising in consumer behaviour, wellbeing and technology. Certified CX professional experienced in Design Thinking. A researcher, writer and speaker, Paul is head of Digital Insight at SYZYGY.

4 Comments Add New Comment

  1. Gideon Lask says:

    Credit to ELLE for trying something different – social commerce needs people to take risks and this shows they’re willing to experiment. I agree with Kevin O’Malley’s comment about the difficulties with Facebook monetization – it’s been all too easy for some publishers to keep going with the old models of ecommerce and expect to make money through social networks easily. Why not throw away the old ecommerce rulebook which retailers have entrenched themselves in?

    Social commerce is the next evolution to ecommerce – it’s not simply about trying to monetize your community on a social network, or giving people something different to look at. Social commerce provides a unique opportunity to build a new way to interact with customers while rewarding their loyalty – brands can then use passionate advocates as an advertising channel, creating a new form of positive reinforcement – the more genuine advocacy consumers show by reaching and attracting new fans, the more they’re rewarded.

    Co-buying is changing ecommerce in this way – it’s designed to reach beyond existing pools of customers and into new groups and communities of interest, rewarding actual fans and not just deal-seekers who will never actually repeat purchase. Brand advocacy online is going to be hugely important in the next evolution of ecommerce, and brands can’t afford to settle for the old ideas.

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