InStyle has launched a stand-alone shopping website today, StyleFind.com, which allows customers to search for clothing, accessories, and beauty items and then buy them through partnering retail sites. For every purchase made via StyleFind at one of its 150 partner sites, Time Inc. gets an undisclosed cut of the transaction, unlike its celebrity-centric competitor, Google’s Boutiques.com, which simply charges “small fees for directing traffic” but doesn’t seem to get any sort of commission-type profit from purchases. The new venture is the beginning of many similar e-tailing sites for other Time Inc. magazines like Essence, Real Simple, and People Stylewatch, according to Time Inc.’s new CEO, Jack Griffin, who promised to deliver a “new revenue stream” for the company’s publications when he took his post a few months ago.
So what sets StyleFind.com apart from other e-tailer aggregation sites? It’s hard to tell, exactly, although Time Inc. says that all merchandise will be curated by a new bunch of editors freshly hired by InStyle. “It will be like shopping with one of our magazine editors,” explained managing editor Ariel Foxman, who noted that the 2,000-plus brands represented are consistent with those shown in the publication. The items are searchable by all the usual categories like price and style, as well as “editor’s picks,” which doesn’t name any specific editor doing the picking, although it does feature a thumbnail-size head shot of a smiling blonde woman who supposedly looks editorial and picky. Anyway, what say you to this new shopping site? Do you think other magazines should try this?