Vogue and GQ publisher Condé Nast has set out an ambitious international roll-out plan for its ecommerce site Style.com, following its UK launch in September.
The site will launch in the US in the first half of next year and other markets including Asia and Europe by the end of 2016, Condé Nast’s president of global ecommerce Franck Zayan told Drapers.
He revealed Style.com is targeting 200 luxury brands for the UK launch in September and will aim to sign up between 300 and 350 in total by the end of the year.
Zayan, who was previously head of ecommerce for the French department store group Galeries Lafayette, joined Condé Nast in January 2014.
He is leading the Style.com team, which Condé Nast has formed as a new standalone business. It currently employs a team of approximately 100 people at offices on Albert Street in Camden, London, and Zayan is aiming to grow this to around 150 by the end of the year.
The UK launch will be focused around Condé Nast’s Vogue and GQ publications. It will add all other titles in its portfolio, which include Glamour, Condé Nast Traveller, Brides, Tatler, Vanity Fair and Wired, by the end of the year.
Zayan would not disclose specific brands already signed up but confirmed they would be predominantly womenswear, menswear and accessories, as well as beauty, technology and gifts.
It will operate as a marketplace model where Condé Nast will control the whole customer journey through to transaction on the Style.com site. The products will then be dispatched directly by brands.
Consumers can access the ecommerce offer in two ways: through the standalone consumer-facing site branded as Style.com and through Condé Nast’s publications using its apps and websites.
The relevant pages of the magazines or websites will feature a tab that consumers can click on that displays product information and prices, as well as related products. They can click to add products to their basket and complete the transaction within Style.com, then continue to browse the magazine or website.
Zayan said the marketplace model is the first phase of the launch and that the second phase may include buying and holding stock.
“The marketplace is at the heart of the model, which means if we add an inventory model to the marketplace model it would be in addition, not a transition, so we would have a combination of both,” he said.
A key part of the site’s USP will be a powerful recommendation and personalisation tool, Zayan said, which Condé Nast is building in-house.
Zayan declined to provide any financial or sales targets for the new business, but said: “Our ambition is to create a luxury, high-end commerce destination and to do that across all the markets where Condé Nast has a presence and across all the titles or possible titles we can connect it to. We are creating that combination of a content and commerce proposition so [consumers] can be inspired, learn about the products and then buy them.”