In Vogue's latest push to embrace the digital age, the fashion bible has broken ahead of the pack as the first print magazine to make its Instagram feed shoppable. It's doing so through LiketoKnow:It, an offshoot of the affiliate sales platform RewardStyle.
With LiketoKnow:It, if you "like" an Instagram with an LTK link in the caption, you will be sent an email that directs you to a point of sale for the item in the Instagram. If you buy that item, Vogue receives a commission.
Through RewardStyle, which sends users a commission when someone purchases something they link to, Vogue has been monetizing on the products it links to on its website for quite some time now. But given that Instagram is only growing in popularity, the photo-sharing platform might turn out to be a particularly good revenue stream for the magazine.
According to RewardStyle president and co-founder Amber Venz, a dedicated RewardStyle consultant has been working with Vogue over the course of the last year and a half. Enabling commerce on its Instagram was the next logical step in their relationship. (Disclosure: Fashionista also uses RewardStyle links in some of its posts.) A Vogue spokeswoman declined to comment for this story, although the magazine announced its new e-commerce play on Vogue.com yesterday.
Although we're still in the early days of making Instagram shoppable, Venz says that the average conversion rate for LiketoKnow:It, i.e. the percentage of people who see an item on Instagram and go on to make a purchase, is on average a few decimal points higher than that of RewardStyle, which is about 1 percent.
Why? Venz says evidence is anecdotal, but it could have something to do with the fact that Instagram content tends to be more candid and immediate than other editorial content. Because photos are posted in real time, the viewer might feel more of a sense of urgency and hit "buy" faster than they would otherwise.
Vogue is only the first print publication to link up with LTK. Venz says the platform will be onboarding a number of other publications (currently unnamed) in the next few weeks.