Back in the day, if you were reading a glossy fashion magazine and saw an outfit or product you liked, you had two options: 1. Keep flipping, while mentally adding it to your wish list and eventually forgetting about it or 2. If you really fell in love, bookmark it to research later. While there’s nothing wrong with a little mystery persay, it was asking quite a lot of a potential customer to not only remember what the product was, but to put the time and effort into looking up where to purchase it, scouring the Internet for the best deal, and potentially putting together an entire ensemble. Thankfully, that antiquated system is a way of the past with the introduction of commerce content.
Commerce content is a new revenue stream for publishers, and a way to connect the aspirational phase of shopping to actionable purchases for consumers. It can include anything from product reviews to gift guides with the goal of consumer product discovery. It’s getting so popular that big name publishers like Business Insider, Gawker, Hearst, and BuzzFeed are all adding e-commerce editors to their teams with the goal of producing better shoppable content. This new type of e-zine can take the user from dreaming to doing with just the click of a link. It doesn’t disrupt the user experience or take the reader off-page, since you can simply “add to cart” and continue reading or scrolling.
To prove even further how hot this trend is, the New York Times recently purchased Wirecutter, a product recommendation engine in an effort to add a new source of digital revenue. New York Magazine recently launched Strategist, a recommendation e-commerce site to compliment their print publication. Strategist lets readers directly purchase items they write about. When asked what he thought about the move, VigLink COO William Johnson stated, “The good ones, the ones that have a real, authentic voice and discussion around products, help us find what to buy.” Essentially, it’s a service to both the shopper and the store, and gets us excited about the future of the fashion industry.