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Future of E-Com? Zalando Takes Content Seriously with Acquisition of Highsnobiety
Is e-commerce moving into the world of digital publications? Zalando sure thinks so, as it acquires a majority stake in the fashion magazine, Highsnobiety.
Zalando, Germany’s leading online retailer for fashion, is aiming to take the two worlds of retail and content together, by acquiring the majority stake in the online publication Highsnobiety.
The online retailer made the announcement during the week, expressing the purpose of intertwining content with commerce. The two companies, according to the statement, will ‘leverage each other’s strengths by combining Highsnobiety’s ‘cultural relevance and insight, fashion authority and storytelling expertise’ with Zalando’s ‘fashion network, e-commerce know-how and operational capabilities’.
Highsnobiety will retain its editorial team and curational autonomy, with its publishing and agency work continuing as an independent entity, and will continue to be led by David Fischer, CEO and founder, and Jürgen Hopfgartner, COO and President of Highsnobiety. Moreover, Fischer will retain a minor stake in the business.
“Highsnobiety has mastered the art of turning stories into products and products into stories,” shared Fischer. ” am very excited to bring our capabilities to Zalando’s commitment towards fashion inspiration and together reimagine the future of content and commerce. Equally, I am thrilled to tap into Zalando’s unrivalled expertise in scaling e-commerce platforms and bring my lifetime’s passion work to the next level.”
In this new partnership between Zalando and Highsnobiety, the platforms will work within their own wheelhouse, with Zalando providing retail expertise and operational knowledge to drive e-commerce growth for Highsnobiety. Furthermore, Highsnobiety will leverage its editorial experience to drive awareness among Zalando’s shoppers, and inspire its audience with a better shopping experience and customer journey.
“Both of our companies share a passion for building strong brand partnerships and enabling brands to inspire audiences with their products and stories,” shared David Schneider, the founder and Co-CEO of Zalando. “Partnering with Highsnobiety will allow us to execute much faster on our ambition to offer the most relevant and engaging – as well as convenient – shopping experience to our customers. I’m excited to see our joint vision materialise and to shape the future of fashion content in commerce together.”
Highsnobiety has been long hoping to turn its readers into shoppers, the founder told Vogue Business. The publication launched its own e-commerce platform in 2019, with its own private label fashion label, and the launch of collaborations with luxury brands including Prada. While the e-commerce platform is still small, Fischer told Vogue Business that it was ‘growing very fast’. However, under the direction of Zalando, it may help drive further sales and attraction to the platform.
So, is this the future of e-commerce? I hope so. Blending content and commerce is a natural next step for retailers if they want to continue on an upward trajectory and connect with consumers. Australian retailers like Adore Beauty have been doing this for some time, driving native content that resonates with its audience, educating them on specific topics and accelerating sales in the process.
In a report from Power Retail, we saw that fashion is the most popular category for influencers and content (63 percent), likely due to the visual nature of the social media platforms. Coupled with content on a retailer’s website, this can be a major player in driving loyalty and engagement for consumers.
Sharing content that inspires its shoppers is a key tool to driving loyalty with shoppers. It’s more important than ever to stand out from other retailers, and having unique and helpful content – be it written, video or audio – can assist shoppers with choosing one retailer over another.
In a time where content is king and loyalty is running on empty, moves such as Zalando’s are a core strategy to drive further engagement and dedication to a brand.
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