As digital natives, pure play e-tailers ought to outperform brick-and-mortar brands when it comes to making content shoppable. However, a handful of innovative retailers rival their pure play competitors in that area, according to L2’s Insight Report: Department Stores Shoppable Content.

Net-A-Porter has built a reputation on combining content and commerce – yet the retailer’s lookbooks don’t let users buy items or save them to a wishlist without leaving the page. The same is true for almost all other pure play e-tailers in the study, with ASOS being an exception. However, a flip through lookbooks by Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus, Harrods, and Harvey Nichols reveals that they have implemented these shoppable features. Neiman Marcus implements these features in its on-site magazine as well.

Department Stores Shoppable Content: Feature Drop-Off from Lookbooks to Editorial Hubs

The mentioned brands also succeed at connecting the dots in the reverse direction. Neiman Marcus and Harrods both link product pages to editorial content, a practice largely ignored by pure play e-tailers. The brick-and-mortar retailers in L2’s study also excel at curated recommendations, providing recommendations at a higher consistency than their pure-play rivals.

Department Stores Shoppable Content: Branded Content on Product Pages

By neglecting those features, pure play brands are missing out on potential sales. Shoppable content can motivate browsers to make a purchase, and curated content on product pages can boost the value of transactions. As pure play retailers overlook these vital opportunities, brick-and-mortar brands seem to be filling the void.

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