With several new automotive enthusiast titles in its stable, Hearst Corp. is roaring into the social commerce arena with new group discount services offered through Car and Driver and Road & Track, both recently acquired from Lagardere, along with the rest of Hachette Filipacchi's consumer magazine business.
The social commerce offering is the result of a partnership with Group Commerce, which already has deals with big publishers like the New York Times Co. and Meredith Corp. Beginning with the auto titles, Hearst magazines will offer readers exclusive social commerce deals available only through the magazine brands, which feature prominently in the promotions.
According to Folio, some of the first advertisers to make use of Hearst's new social commerce platform include sellers of garage equipment and professional driving schools. Other Hearst titles are expected to follow, including Cosmopolitan and Esquire.
As noted, a number of big publishers are scrambling to build up social commerce platforms as a way to offer advertisers additional incentives for cross-platform buys.
Back in March, Meredith Corp. unveiled a social commerce network, also produced in partnership with Group Commerce, on Parents.com. Group discount deals are provided for the network via the "Premium Partner Program" -- providing key advertisers with broad exposure and a new way to reach large numbers of Meredith's most engaged readers.
Other publishers are also embracing social shopping, although not necessarily with a group discount aspect. In June 2010, Time Inc. bought StyleFeeder, which delivers personalized shopping recommendations based on preference mapping, bringing e-commerce to the Web sites of magazines like InStyle and People.
In addition, Conde Nast's Lucky unveiled a partnership with ThisNext.com, which aggregates fashion and other products in an interactive, social setting where readers can comment on and talk about products. Users can create personalized shopping guides and share recommendations and reviews with friends.