At 75, Glamour is not afraid to experiment to maintain its youthful appeal and please its digitally-savvy readership. The Condé Nast publication has introduced ecommerce initiatives in the past, including Shop Style, which used the affiliate model, and SnapTags, a social/mobile experience. This week it debuted its most holistic ecommerce effort yet Shop Glamour, which allows readers to buy items, pay through one shopping cart, and receive their haul in a Glamour-branded box, even if the items are from multiple brands. In developing Shop Glamour, Glamour partnered with AHAlife for the e-commerce technology and fulfillment capabilities as well as the development of a mobile app and responsive website.
Executive digital director Mike Hofman points out that “Glamour readers are great experimenters; this is a very fashion-forward magazine and they want to try out the latest styles and trends.” Glamour fans also rely on the brand’s editorial perspective to help them identify those trends and how they can “translate into a woman’s real life.” Shop Glamour, says Hofman, is a natural extension of the relationship the editors have with their readers. The offering includes more than 200 brands curated by Glamour’s editorial team. Hofman says, “Our fashion and beauty teams are thrilled with the project. Seven editors have already curated ‘boutiques’ of their own.”
This, says Hofman, is a natural extension of the editorial process. “We are used to providing fashion and beauty inspiration and providing a curated shopping experience is an extension of that.” And, he points out, “in some ways, editorially-curated is the holy grail of shopping tools.” Maintaining reader trust is an important component of any brand extension so Glamour is maintaining a “strict wall” between what the editors choose and what is promoted by advertisers.
While not every item in the magazine’s editorial and advertising content will be shoppable, every ad in the March issue will be as will many items featured in editorial spreads. At launch, 20 advertisers are participating in Shop Glamour across the app and video, including L’Oréal Paris, Maybelline, Sexy Hair, and LOFT. Other features of the app include additional editorial content and behind-the-scenes celebrity videos.
Shop Glamour includes two components developed with AHAlife: shop.glamour.com, a fully-integrated ecommerce site, and the shopping app, which uses image recognition software to display the shoppable items from the page on a phone. The mobile component is one that Hofman is particularly enthusiastic about. “Your phone is like oxygen now, especially for users in our demo of women 18 to 34.” While he says only a few years ago, he might not have viewed mobile as a “sure thing for commerce” today, it is a given. “Glamour’s online mobile audience is north of 40% of our readers. With that fact, and all of the trends around mobile commerce, the mobile app is a key piece.”
The Glamour audience, says Hofman, “is a contemporary reader who expects to have inspiration, and the ability to act on it, wherever and wherever she wants to—in-book, on her tablet, online, and in stores.” And Glamour is betting that its latest foray into taking the reader off the page to deliver a satisfying content experience will be a hot new shopping trend.