High-End Groceries Sold in a Flash
Gilt Groupe, the flash sale operator launched in 2007, has introduced
a new site which includes, for the first time, editorial in a magazine-style
format. Gilt Taste’s stories will expand on product offerings, tackling provenance,
politics and recipes as well as personal essays about food and drink adventures.
Described by its originators as an online culinary magazine without ads, it’s
aimed at people who love to cook and eat.
In a statement, Gilt described itself as an "innovative lifestyle company
offering highly coveted products and experiences at insider prices … an
addictive destination for aspirational shoppers from coast to coast."
stressing sales are by invitation only, membership to all Gilt sites is free.
The food pages on Gilt Taste demand registration for weekly specials only.
Having started with fashion, Gilt also promotes travel and home décor.
Mashable’s view is that the model "is a promising example of a larger
shift in the e-commerce industry in which shopping sites blend content and
commerce, becoming more like magazines in the process." Editorial is based
primarily on what’s for sale, with the odd generalized piece for balance (e.g.,
"What will fracking do to your food supply?").
In her introduction, editorial adviser Ruth Reichl, a
former restaurant reviewer and Gourmet magazine editor, insists that
she would not be involved if this was "just a catalog of products — no
matter how wonderful." She claims that its magazine style, albeit one supported
by sales, is unique. She will also be involved in product selection "and
development of a community of local purveyors," according to PRNewswire.
lot (of the producers) aren’t great business people," Ms. Reichl told the
San Francisco Chronicle. "They need a path to market, and Gilt Taste can
provide that." Some products will be exclusively designed for Gilt Taste;
others have only been available to chefs and in limited farmers’ markets.
- A Culinary Experience from Gilt Groupe – Gilt Groupe
Groupe Launches Online Culinary Magazine With No Ads – Mashable.com
- Gilt Groupe sets a place at its web table for gourmet food – Internet
- What’s New: Gilt Taste website – San Francisco Chronicle
Discussion Questions: Do you think the “magazine” format adds value to Gilt Taste or the products it sells? Do you see editorial efforts like this working for other e-commerce websites?