Shoppability – The Next Big Magazine Metric

portershopThe BPA is rolling out a new way to measure audience engagement and affinity, and it could be exactly what luxury print publishers are looking for.

Earlier this month we wrote about the idea of “shoppability” in the magazine industry and how important the concept is to luxury retail titles like Porter.

“There’s always going to be new and interesting ways to communicate with [the high end fashion consumer],” noted Net-a-Porter’s Tess Macleod Smith in a previously cited article. “It’s about harnessing technology and using it to inspire, educate, surprise and delight. But it’s important to remember that she sets the agenda and we have to adapt,” she continued.

Macleod Smith has identified a major trend in publishing today, as magazine media brands use an omni-channel approach to reach and engage their audience and metrics evolve to measure it. And industry reporting agencies are taking notice.

“Magazine publishers are reaching consumers through more channels than ever before, and audience measurement is no longer just a game of circulations, newsstand sales, and rate bases,” writes Greg Dool in Folio:.

“With that in mind, media assurance agency BPA Worldwide added a new gauge of audience impact to its latest report on Porter, the magazine published by online fashion retailer Net-a-Porter, attempting to measure the effectiveness of the print publication in generating actual purchases of advertised products.”

As Dool notes, “While e-commerce may no longer exactly constitute a new or novel revenue stream for publishers, a media brand’s ‘shoppability’—as BPA calls it—has never been independently, reliably audited.”

That may be changing  thanks to these new kinds of reports that attempt to provide answers to the questions advertisers are asking.

“What we’re hoping is that these reports bridge the gap between the ‘old world’ and the ‘new world,’ what advertisers actually do want to see and the metrics that they want measured,” said BPA’s Francis Stones.

It’s hoped that this new kind of affinity measurement will make it easier to identify a brand’s VIP customers by tracking not just call-to-action responses like sales or sign-ups, but ongoing engagement through social channels and published content.

“Both [BPA President Glenn] Hansen and Stones expect more publishers to follow Porter’s lead in attempting to quantify and measure ‘shoppability,’ a metric that Stones expects will become more sophisticated in future reports as BPA aims to paint a more accurate picture of aspects like rate of purchase.”

It’s great to see the industry responding to the need for better metrics that takes into account the entire channel spectrum and the advertisers’ best interests.