• The publisher launches two new online beauty and fashion destinations
Pacific Magazines has expanded its reach into online retailing with the launch of beauty and fashion websites BEAUTYcrew and StyledBy marie claire.
While the two new destinations have an e-commerce element to them, the sites also house original editorial content commissioned specially for the websites.
Alex Noonan, the content director for BEAUTYcrew told Mediaweek, “By the middle of the year, we will be a complete one-stop beauty destination, where women can learn, try, review and then buy products.”
BEAUTYcrew will have a multiphase rollout this year. Next month, Noonan and her team will launch a comprehensive makeup product directory, which will help women browse and collect information about a particular product before they purchase it on the site. Peer-to-peer review is an integral part of this process.
Noonan explains: “If they are looking to find a lipstick, for example, they can see all the lipsticks that are available. We’ll have consumer reviews attached to them because peer-to-peer advocacy is so important in making that final purchase decision. Then at that point they can simply click-to-purchase, which will take them through to that retail partner.”
Powered by Seven West Media, the launch of the new online beauty destination is being supported by commercial partners including L’Oréal, Unilever, Parfums Christian Dior, along with six Pacific Magazines titles including marie claire, InStyle, Women’s Health, Better Homes and Gardens, New Idea and Girlfriend.
It’s taken 18 months of research, planning and content curation for BEAUTYcrew to launch. Speaking about its place in the market, Noonan said: “When we were doing our market research, we saw that some websites were doing great reviews, we saw other websites that were doing commerce, and then there were ones doing great editorial. But there was no one that offered all of those things in one place. That’s the reason we decided to launch it. It’s a unique offering and fulfils all the beauty needs in one hit.”
Unlike the stand-alone website BEAUTYcrew, Pac Mags’ second new online destination has the almighty power of marie claire Australia driving it. Editor-at-large of StyledBy marie claire Clare Press describes it as a brand extension of the print product. The primary aim of the site is to help users find their style by utilising the fashion minds of the marie claire team including the publisher Jackie Frank and editor Nicky Briger. After a user goes through the quick sign-up process, which can be done using their Facebook credentials, they choose a style put together by key marie claire staffers or a guest stylist that suits their taste. Once chosen, the users have the chance to interact directly with the person who has put the look together – even with Nicky Briger! The chat function is not available for guest stylists.
Press said: “They can ask us questions, they can run looks by us and seek our advice on what it is they are looking for in the fashion space. It works via a pop-up chat window. Core members of the marie claire team are in and out of appointments and shoots, so it isn’t always instant, but we do get back to people within 24 hours.
“We are about starting conversations and having conversations with our readers. This is a lovely additional way to do that.”
When asked about how the team members will manage to respond to all chat messages when user volume to the site increases, Press said: “It’s something we will have to monitor, but so far it’s been going well.”
Press says she wants women to be able to play on the site. It’s an added incentive for users to sign up. “We are going to be rolling out the ability for users to sign up and create their own looks on the site. The stylists and guest stylists create stylebooks. But it’s also about being inspiring and having a play to get the looks that you love. So there is that element of bringing the play factor in.
“We are curating the looks that you love and they are instantly shoppable.”
With both the websites having launched in a crowded market with a lot of USG content on fashion and beauty, how will they compete?
Noonan and Press said that having the Pacific Magazines brand and access to industry contacts gives them an extra boost in the online market.
“We’ve got this fashion authority,” Press said.
“People look to marie claire to tell them what the trends are, what the news is, and give them styling advice.”
Noonan answered: “We have the expertise of all the magazine editors and our own team as well. We will be putting a lot of focus on how tos, because we know that’s what women are looking for in addition to all their research for products. Our end goal for the site [BEAUTYcrew] is to form a really inclusive community environment.
“In the second half of the year we will be rolling out a very interactive forum. What we will see in that is the best of Instagram and Facebook combined so that women can become stars in their own right on our site – they can develop their own followers, they can upload their own videos on how tos and product reviews. It’s about bringing beauty lovers all together in one space.”
Press further added: “In terms of the point of difference, it’s totally different from what the other magazines in the local market are doing. None of the other monthlies have any kind of similar offering so [StyledBy marie claire] is a market first. Combining that idea of e-commerce with the brilliant content is totally different. This idea that you’ll be able to sign up, join in and play on the site adds a complete new dimension.”