E-Tailers Merge Content & Commerce to Compete with Online Magazines

One stop at your favorite e-commerce site and you’ll invariably see that they either have a blog or a feature that requires editorial upkeep. From Shopbop’s high-quality lookbooks (shown here), to Opening Ceremony’s abundance of interviews and creative blog features, sites that are primarily meant for a shop-and-go experience are now giving us a reason to stay. This interactive engagement is a new focus for e-tailers—and major editorial players are starting to take notice.

“A new kind of magazine has arrived online and it’s bringing editors into the sales business,” reports WWD. Their story focuses on the growth of sites like Net-a-Porter and Gilt—two companies that are dramatically expanding their resources. And, unlike magazines, these sites are fully-supported by commerce, allowing them to bypass advertisements and solely focus on customizing their content. “There is nobody at our company who is pressuring our content people to cover X or Y product because there’s no incentive for us to do that,” says Gilt Groupe chairman Susan Lyne.

Just as the e-commerce game is evolving, magazines likes InStyle are now launching their own online shopping sites to stay competitive. Since this new content-meets-commerce business model will soon be the standard for all digital platforms, we’ll see how companies manage to simultaneously replenish stories and inventory on a near-daily basis.

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