Luxury retailer, Net-A-Porter, launches Newsstand edition of new print magazine

The luxury online retailer Net-A-Porter launched a new print magazine earlier this month, and with it a new digital edition, as well. The new launches hint at the marketing potential still of print, but also the ability of tablet magazines to directly connect retailers with their potential customers.

Porter-iPad-TOCThe print edition looks and feels very much like the traditional fashion magazine. While all the merchandise seen in the new title can be bought either online, through their app, or through the concierge service, the magazine’s designers do not splash this fact so obviously.

The digital edition, PORTER magazine North America, is available exclusively through the Apple Newsstand, and is designed specifically for the iPad.

Unlike many print publishers, who are a bit cautious when it comes to charging too much for their digital editions, Net-A-Porter has charging $8.99 for a single copy, $32.99 for an annual subscription. Then again, the retailer knows its audience, and it is not Target shoppers.

The Newsstand app’s first digital issue is designed exclusively for portrait reading, and weighs in at a rather modest 188 MB, despite the presence of video content.

The digital edition makes the retail aspect of the experience more obvious. A reader can call up the fashion information on any page with a simple tap of one of the navigation icons at the top. Ads, of which there are plenty, also work this way, though they only refer one to the brand’s website.

The iPad edition layouts appear less pleasing than the print layouts, relying mostly on scrolling text. A tablet edition also can not take advantage of two-page spreads – either for advertising or editorial. But the photography is gorgeous, of course, and the added multimedia capabilities make the tablet edition so much more than the print edition can deliver – not even counting the obvious advantages with more easily accessing the retailer’s website.

The marketing potential of the magazine format is obvious. Red Bull has been using both the magazine and TV platform as a marketing tool for its products for quite some time now. Like Apple choosing to create physical retail stores, the new product is seen strictly as part of the marketing department, and is therefore free of having to justify is existing strictly through a P&L. The only question that is important is does it drive sales?

Below is a gallery where you can see both the print and digital editions (the print photos coming from the retailer’s own website):

[slideshow gallery_id=”13″]

  • […] reports that the luxury retailer Net-A-Porter has launched a new print magazine…. While print media still has potential for marketing, the move also highlights the fact that digital magazines can connect with customers directly and directly translate into more selling opportunities. Net-A-Porter’s pricing strategy ($8.99 for a single copy, $32.99 for an annual subscription) reflects the retailer’s effective understanding of its audience and the price points they associate with style and luxury. […]

  • […] Luxury retailer, Net-A-Porter, launches Newsstand edition of new print magazine Talking New Media The luxury online retailer Net-A-Porter launched a new print magazine earlier this month, and with it a new digital edition, as well.  […]

  • David Pilcher 4 years ago

    We applaud Net-a-Porter’s decision to launch Porter, a 250+ page glossy that comes out every other month. Unfortunately, we think it fails to live up to their hype of “combining the intimacy of the printed page with the instant gratification technology allows.”

    David Moth of eConsultancy reviewed the print magazine’s scannable app and asked “is it any good?”

    “Net-A-Porter unveiled a new print magazine last week which it hoped would disrupt the old model of print publishing through new innovations such as shoppable pages,” writes Moth.

    A lofty goal, to be sure.

    Porter was designed from the start to leverage scanning technology to connect readers to digital content – including videos, purchase information, and links to brand websites.

    The idea is good, but in practice it’s clunky, according to Moth, who gave the app a thorough run-through.

    “One slight problem is that the product lists are tied to entire articles rather than pages, so when I clicked on one particular pair of shoes I was shown a list of more than 30 products including jewellery and books,” says Moth. “I assume this is because it would be too much work to individually tag each item, but it might occasionally be frustrating for the reader if they just want to find out about one particular product.”

    Occasionally frustrating might be putting it mildly, as one of the basic tenets of a good digital experience is to deliver exactly what the user expects at each click along the way.

    Another drawback? Links to advertised brands go to that brand’s main website, many of which are not optimized for mobile viewing. This is a huge problem in a mobile app. And the VIP-shopper feature directs users to a phone number to call customer service. Not exactly cutting edge.

    As more ecommerce sites embrace the power of print and launch magazines, we are going to see digital content interaction take shape in many forms. Net-a-Porter has some good ideas; let’s see how they can refine them as this magazine develops.