In the latest example of a magazine trying to tap into e-commerce, Condé Nast's Allure is adding features to its Best of Beauty online pop-up shop to smooth the path to purchase.
Through a partnership with Quidsi, which owns BeautyBar and Soap.com, shoppers will be able to buy items on an Allure and Quidsi co-branded site rather than having to return to the product’s page on Allure.com. (Allure Best of Beauty branded pages also will appear on Soap.com and BeautyBar.com.)
The pop-up shop goes live today and will remain open until the end of October. The site is sponsored by P&G for the third time and carries P&G's winning products exclusively.
In a nod to the popularity of social media and user-generated content, the site this year will also include user reviews in addition to content from Allure. A live media wall will aggregate tweets, photos and other social media mentions around a Best of Beauty awards party, which takes place near the Fashion Week tents in Lincoln Center. Next year's award will have more social and mobile integration, after Allure.com relaunches with mobile optimization later this year.
At a time when magazines are scrambling to develop ancillary revenue sources, the Best of Beauty seal licensing program stands out as a growing revenue stream for Allure, now representing 7 percent of the brand's profit, according to the magazine.
“When I came to the brand [in 2008], the seal was underdeveloped from a marketing standpoint,” Allure vp, publisher Agnes Chapski said. “One of the first things I did was look at all the rich editorial assets that this brand has and what kind of traction do these assets have with consumers. The first one that stuck out was the seal.”
Chapski raised fees for using the seal after an Allure-commissioned study found that products carrying the seal experienced an average sales lift of 9 percent. In a separate study, Allure also found that 86 percent of women described the award-winning products as more effective, while 66 percent were likelier to buy a product with the Allure seal than without one. (Brands don't have to advertise in the magazine to be considered for an award.)
Winners of this year's awards will appear in Allure's October issue, its second-largest issue ever in terms of page count, excluding onserts. According to Publishers Information Bureau, ad pages for the issue are up 14 percent, making this the fourth year of growth in a row for the Best of Beauty issue.