Content and commerce, separated at some publications like church and state, are close allies at

This story first appeared in the February 28, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Understanding how content combines with commerce has been a journey for Jill Friedson, associate publisher, marketing and business development at Allure, and Marie Jones, director of communications and general manager of digital media. One of the first things they realized is that content isn’t siloed in the digital space the way it’s kept separated in print. “It doesn’t have the same kind of boundaries,” said Jones. “Visitors to the Web site are looking for product information and how-to inspiration and they’re looking for it in the context of their real life in real time.”

“She [the beauty shopper] expects ease and convenient, frictionless shopping,” Friedson said. “She expects commerce at the end of it if she wants it.”

Wanting a deeper understanding of what compels consumers to buy, Allure undertook a research project with 2,200 female digital beauty customers nationwide. Allure’s research found that the nationwide consumer isn’t going to one store, she is visiting up to 7.5 beauty sources, buying 31 percent of products on a smartphone, 26 percent on a tablet and 19 percent in-store. Meanwhile, the user is checking out 10 sources, with 54 percent on a smartphone, 64 percent using tablets and 30 percent going to stores. “She’s somebody who spends 16 minutes on our site really researching product information and validating what it is she finds,” Jones said. approaches brand-integrated content, when advertisers want to speak to consumers in the most legitimate way, Friedson said. “The beauty consumer is very discerning,” she said. “It has to be true and keep the integrity of the editorial content. And it has to create the desire to buy.”

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