‘Allure’ Goes Into E-Tailing

Beauty magazine lets users shop, pay on site

Fashion and beauty magazines have long influenced what women buy, but taking the logical next step of becoming full-fledged e-tailers has its challenges, from the hassle of stocking inventory to the risk to editorial credibility to the loss of their online users when they leave to make their purchase on other sites.

But Condé Nast beauty magazine Allure thinks it’s cracked the code with a new e-commerce feature on Allure.com that lets users shop for beauty products without leaving the site. Users can save favorites to a list and fill a shopping cart that follows them on the site. Amazon’s online retailer Quidsi is powering the feature. Checkout takes place on a co-branded page on Quidsi’s BeautyBar.com.

There are lots of places online to buy beauty products, but Allure says the site’s editorial content sets it apart. The roughly 700 products available for sale on Allure.com have gone through testing and evaluation by Allure’s editors and experts, and are described and reviewed on the site as part of Allure’s Beauty Product Finder that provides personalized product recommendations.

Allure will get a cut of the revenue from the product sales. But perhaps more important, the feature may increase users’ time spent on the site which can, in turn, make it more attractive to advertisers.

Linda Wells, Allure’s founding editor in chief, said she’s wanted to offer such a service for years, but the technology hasn’t been available until recently.

“We know Allure’s readers have shopped from the magazine since we started,” Wells said. “So now it’s a more complete experience.”