H&M + Elle = Innovative Online Commerce (Temp) Solution

Remember that time when I got all excited about H&M getting its e-commerce sea legs? Well I did.

Admittedly, my excitement was somewhat self-interested as I happen to be a fan of the brand. But I was also quite excited simply by the prospect of such a massive global retailer finally getting online – it seemed way behind its retail colleagues on that front.

Turns out, it still is as the brand announced it is delaying its e-commerce launch until 2012. BUT – there is good news!

H&M/Elle online retail partnership

Amid these delays, the brand has explored innovative partnerships in order to capitalize on some sort of online retail market share – something it has been losing out on all this time, as seemingly every other big retailer has gone online. Just yesterday, H&M and Elle launched an effort whereby the popular fashion magazine would sell certain H&M items through its web portal as a preview to the retailer’s fall collection. The website displays four looks from the fall collection, with four or five pieces from each look that consumers can click to buy. The collection was styled by an Elle editor but the deal was spearheaded by the advertising side of the fashion pub.

“This will be a preview of what’s to come in spring 2012, when we launch our e-commerce site,” said Nicole Christie, an H&M spokeswoman, in an article published on WWD.com. “We’re launching the e-boutique two days before we release the collection in stores, so when it sells out online, customers will be able to go to any H&M store in the U.S. on Sept. 1 to buy it.”

Other major retailers still struggling with e-efforts might be smart to take tips from this collaboration. Sure, Elle magazine is probably a hard door to break through if you’re a small guy, but in my opinion, interesting collabo’s tend to happen unexpectedly – and it never hurts to ask. What other ways can you break into the e-game before your e-commerce operation is up and running?