Following publications like Vogue and DailyCandy that have already made partnerships with e-commerce sites or launched some of their own, Time Inc. has made its way into e-commerce with the acquisition of “personal shopping engine” StyleFeeder, announced today.
As The Wall Street Journal pointed out today, the deal comes at an ideal time for Time, which lost 26 percent of its advertising revenue — its main source of income — during the first nine months of 2009, compared to a year earlier.
Time plans to incorporate StyleFeeder into its fashion magazine InStyle‘s Web site, allowing its e-commerce technology to power shopping on the site. Said Fran Hauser, president of digital for Time’s Style & Entertainment Group:
“This is a strategic step in building on our digital success. Our brands reach millions of consumers through our websites, social media and mobile products. StyleFeeder’s e-commerce technology will open the door to new transactional revenue streams and give the InStyle community an experience they can’t find anywhere else online.”
The acquisition also comes after a difficult period for Time Inc. In response to falling revenues, the magazine publisher cut staff through buyouts and layoffs this fall, and shuttered publications including InStyle Weddings.
Full release about the StyleFeeder acquisition after the jump
Time to Acquire StyleFeeder —Wall Street Journal
Previously: Time Inc. Shutters InStyle Weddings
Time Inc. Acquires Personal Shopping Engine StyleFeeder On Behalf of InStyle
Building on the digital success of one of its leading brands, Time Inc. will add StyleFeeder to the InStyle family
NEW YORK, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ — Time Inc. announced today that it has acquired StyleFeeder, a personal shopping engine that uses pattern recognition technology and its members’ style preferences to make recommendations for clothing, shoes and accessories from thousands of online retailers. StyleFeeder will become part of the InStyle family of brands and its e-commerce technology will power shopping on InStyle.com.
The addition of StyleFeeder, which has more than 1 million registered members and over 600 thousand monthly unique visitors (comScore), will enhance InStyle’s digital business. InStyle.com, with 1.5 million monthly unique visitors (comScore), is a leader among its competitive set. The brand has over 1.5 million followers on Twitter and its Hollywood Makeover tool has generated over 74 million hair and makeup try-ons since its launch. InStyle magazine ranks #1 at the newsstand across its competitive set and remains #1 in ad pages, with paging for its March 2010 issue up 33 percent.
“Our focus has been on investing in and growing our core brands,” said Ann Moore, Chairman and CEO of Time Inc. “InStyle has proven itself as a product powerhouse with InStyle Makeover, InStyle Hair, a series of style books and 17 international editions. Adding StyleFeeder will bring personalized shopping into the mix and new opportunities for the group.”
“This is a strategic step in building on our digital success,” said Fran Hauser, President of Digital for Time Inc.’s Style & Entertainment Group. “Our brands reach millions of consumers through our websites, social media and mobile products. StyleFeeder’s e-commerce technology will open the door to new transactional revenue streams and give the InStyle community an experience they can’t find anywhere else online.”
StyleFeeder aggregates content from a catalog of over 14 million products from thousands of retail partners across the web. In addition to getting personalized recommendations, members can track their favorite items, rate and share products and interact with shoppers around the world who share a similar sense of style. StyleFeeder’s fast visual browsing interface allows users to filter results using levers such as price, brand, product attributes and color to quickly hone in on what they’re shopping for.
“Much of InStyle’s success can be attributed to knowing who our readers are and giving them more of what they love – great style that is both inspiring and accessible,” said Connie Anne Phillips, InStyle’s Publisher. “We are confident that StyleFeeder’s technology will be highly effective in driving consumers to the point of purchase.”
“We’re focused on making shopping as convenient and easy as it is fun,” says Philip Jacob, Founder and CTO of StyleFeeder. “We look forward to leveraging our e-commerce capabilities to build on InStyle’s existing success.”
Time Inc.’s network of sites attracts an audience of 43 million people and 2 billion page views each month, making it one of the top 20 media companies online. The acquisition of StyleFeeder will give Time Inc. an ownership interest in the rapidly-growing apparel and accessories e-commerce space.