Like the fleeting flash sales at e-commerce site Rue La La, fashion trends are also often short lived.

To give shoppers insight on the latest styles, Rue La La is trying its hand at content marketing. The e-retailer launched a fashion editorial website and area in its app called Rue Now.

Rue Now—available at web address www.now.ruelala.com—is accessible to anyone to read, unlike the rest of the Rue La La site, which is members-only and requires visitors to sign up and log in to view the flash sales on offer. Rue La La’s app, however isn’t members-only. Anyone can download the app and browse products, and now, read the Rue Now content in the app, says Arash Hadipanah, senior mobile product manager. In fact, 60% of Rue La La’s sales come from mobile devices and between 75% and 80% of those mobile sales are via its app, Hadipanah says.

Rue La La, No. 68 in the Internet Retailer’s 2016 Mobile 500 Guide, posts about 15 articles to the Rue Now site a day, a spokeswoman says. Rue La La has regular curators and bloggers who publish on the site, plus Rue La La has contracts with other fashion trend publishers, such as Fashionista and Popsugar Inc., to publish on the site.

Some of the articles are about items that Rue La La sells, such as an article about the quality of a Louis Vuitton hand bag, and the article links to the associated product page on the Rue La La site. Not all articles, however, are about products Rue La La sells. For example, the site might host an article about New York Fashion Week, or instructions on do-it-yourself hairstyles. Rue La La doesn’t have a quota for the number of articles it publishes about products it carries, a Rue La La spokeswoman says.

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“It gives people visiting Rue La La, who may not be familiar with brand, an idea of what we sell and what we do, and more credibility,” Hadipanah says.

This content marketing project is a way to acquire new customers, Hadipanah says. For example, if a shopper reads an article written by a blogger and published on Rue Now about the quality of a Louis Vuitton purse, she may be more inclined to buy one when she sees it is discounted on the Rue La La site.

Including Rue Now as a part of the mobile app makes it easier for mobile consumers to flip into the shopping section after reading an article, Hadipanah says.

“The fact that within the app you can browse before you become a member and you can have [the article] side by side will really help show why you should have a product,” Hadipanah says.

Rue La La conducted a beta test with 20% of its members, giving those consumers early access to Rue Now. 20% of consumers in the test group visited Rue Now on a daily basis, the spokeswoman says.

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Rue La La plans to analyze how shoppers engage with Rue Now content and see whether it helps the e-retailer acquire customers, Hadipanah says.

Rue La La is letting shoppers know about the new Rue Now site and app tab via email and social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

It took Rue La La a few months to develop Rue Now.  The e-retailer would not disclose how much it invested.

 

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