VIDEO: Growing the Grazia brand into a global ecommerce business

Grazia is an internationally licensed magazine, Graziashop is a global proposition (0:30)

Mondadori is the owner of the Grazia brand, and publishes Grazia in a number of countries through its own operation, and in many other countries is published under licensing agreement with independent local publishers. They have their own media outlet, their own digital outlets, their own website, which is targeted to the local audience of Grazia. 

With we wanted to have a global proposition, which first and foremost would have to be seen by our partners as complimentary to their offering and not in competition with it. All of our partners basically offer a media experience – giving a typical online companion website to a magazine. [Graziashop] is a pure ecommerce retail play around the Grazia brand, and it had to be something which I would define as ‘super-national’. 

Maintaining editorial integrity (1:33) 

We have an excellent relationship [with our partners] and we are engaging with them in order to have Graziashop and Graziashop products featured in the magazine. But not differently from the way they feature other retailers and other brands. So definitely the conflict is by definition impossible, but we are actually eager to work closely with these Grazia editions around the world… because ultimately if there is no leverage from that, we would probably lose one of the secret weapons, or unfair advantages, of being called Graziashop.      

Cultivating a start-up product from a recognisable brand (2:30)

We launched it as a minimum viable product – very small, in a pure internet start-up fashion, which is not easy considering that we are part of a major corporation and we play with a brand like Grazia. But the idea was really to build it gradually, and we’re quite pleased in the sense that traffic is growing month after month, transactions are growing, we are hitting most of our target in terms of the key metrics for an ecommerce business: conversion rates, average order value, return rate. 

We’ve sold in more than 50 markets around the globe (3:30)

What is interesting is the geographical spread of our sales. The UK is our biggest market and this is not a surprise, but the interesting thing is the second biggest market from Day 1 – both in terms of traffic and transactions – was the US. Grazia is not present in the US! Of course it is one of the biggest economies, the biggest ecommerce markets, but for us that was a very pleasant surprise… Actually we’ve been very successful in Asia: Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong, and China itself. And then again we’ve sold in more than 50 markets around the globe, pretty much anywhere in Europe, in very remote places like Mongolia, and in the US and Asia the average order value is above average. 

Is ecommerce the future of funding online magazine publishing? (4:48)

It really depends on the segment, the proposition you can offer, it depends on your brand. So of course for verticals, specialised niche sections [ecommerce] is definitely an area of development. For fashion it’s an incredibly competitive market but we definitely know it’s a big market. So really I believe if you have a strong brand you should really definitely try nowadays to exploit it 360 degrees.

We looked at Graiza we had a magazine brand: a global, successful, magazine brand. And the question was could we transport it into a lifestyle brand? Could we roll it out in other spaces, consistently with the brand value with the image, with what is the consumer perception of our brand? So to answer is ecommerce the magic recipe? No, not for everybody but it’s definitely something that if you arrive with the right opportunity or if you’re in the right segment you should definitely pursue. Because there is no doubt there is a growing business, there’s money, there’s transactions.  

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