7 E-Commerce Sites That Offer More Than Shopping

With so many flashy, fun shopping sites popping up, it's more important than ever for online retailers to offer a little window inside their style-savvy worlds. Case in point: Shopbop and Urban Outfitters have grown accustomed to matching all their juicy products with educational and entertaining editorial content—retorial, if you will. No doubt it's a strategy to get us to buy more, and we figure it's probably working. But really, it allows the smarter online shops to offer a deeper experience than just a handbag. In some cases, you'll discover designer profiles, stories on the latest trends, and quirky, newsy feature articles that are giving our glossies a real run for their money. Which ones are worth a click? See below for our list of headliners.
Urban Outfitters, blog.urbanoutfitters.com
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One of the earliest adopters of "retorial" with their always-ahead-of-the-pack UO blog, Urban often features free music downloads and work by emerging and of-the-moment artists like Piers Atkinson.
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We love their news page, which mixes up articles on architecture and design, art and culture, film, photography, trends, and Joan Collins.
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Just in time for Fashion Week, they just launched the blog Shop Talk, which headlines lots of fun editors' picks, trends, and other fashionable tidbits.
Opening Ceremony, www.openingceremony.us
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OC's namesake blog offers a window into the Opening Ceremony universe, with cute employee profiles, updates on designer collaborations, pics of celeb cameos at the store, travels, parties, street style, you name it.
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A few months ago, Anthropologie introduced a quirky off-shoot site called The Anthropologist with articles, images, and other story-telling ephemera used to uniquely profile such notable "anthropologists" as photographer David Eustice, filmmaker Andrew Zuckerman, and director Jane Campion—the perfect extension of the brand's signature hippy-world traveler vibe.
Net-A-Porter, www.net-a-porter.com
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While the grand dame of e-commerce can really do no wrong, we always head to their Magazine section when we're jonesing for a quick fix of gorgeous shoes, handbags, runway trends, and more.
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With the launch of their recent "Muse Worthy" feature, which spotlights 9 real women, their inspirations, and their inspired (very J.Crew) style, we can already see there's probably lots of other clever shopper-friendly concepts on the horizon.
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