Channel 4 gets into etail with product-linked fashion site

Channel 4 has kicked off a major ecommerce strategy with the launch of a beauty and fashion site that for the first time allows visitors to buy products via

4Beauty targets women aged 20-45, tapping into the expertise of its style shows including How to Look Good Naked and 10 Years Younger.

The site will be promoted within Channel 4’s style programmes, including by Gok Wan in the upcoming How To Look Good Naked series.

The site is designed as a style portal for “real women”, including product reviews written by a selected panel of consumers, as well as ratings from visitors to the site.

A deal with ecommerce specialist ShopStyle lets people click through to buy products from third-party sites.

The broadcaster, which last month revealed revenues from its Future Media division had dropped by 2% since last year, is looking to 4Beauty as a testbed for how an ecommerce model could be applied to its other properties like 4Homes and 4Food.

James Tatam, verticals publisher at Channel 4, said, “Between those three sites we have more than 3m visitors. There’s a real opportunity to get commercial value from them beyond traditional display ads.

“4Beauty is the first step in that direction, but there’s a roadmap for the next year that will shift our reliance on revenues away from just advertisers,” he added.

The site also includes style advice, video content and clothes specific to the visitor’s body shape, overseen by stylist Jane Galpin.

Channel 4 is also planning a series of mobile apps based on flagship TV programmes like Come Dine With Me and a beauty-themed iPhone app by the end of the year (nma 1 July 2010).

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