Glamour Launches a Standalone Commerce Operation, By Women

The storefront aims to generate advertising inventory and shopper data

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The Condé Nast title Glamour launched a digital storefront on Wednesday called The Glamour 100, a shoppable grid featuring 100 curated products from women-owned brands, as part of its efforts to build commerce and advertising revenue.

The landing page is part of a larger franchise, called By Women, which also includes a permanent database of women-owned businesses, a TikTok series, a related podcast and a slate of forthcoming pop-up events.

Last year, the 85-year-old title increased its commerce revenue by 16%, and it saw a 25% increase in traffic to its shopping content, according to Samantha Barry, the Americas editorial director of Glamour.

Overall, Condé Nast grew its commerce business by almost 20% last year, its chief executive Roger Lynch told The New York Times, though it underperformed slightly compared to its projections.

The privately held company wouldn’t share specific financial figures.

“Our audiences come to us for lifestyle, not a lane,” Barry said. “They trust us across the gamut when it comes to shopping, and this elevates that in a way that aligns with a core tenet of ours, in that it allows people to shop with their values.”

Regardless of whether the Glamour 100 generates meaningful affiliate revenue, Condé Nast will be able to collect first-party data about the visitors who shop the site, which they can incorporate into private marketplace deals or use to sync with retailers’ customer data, said Andrew Becks, the chief operating officer of digital media agency 301 Digital.

“They are trying to show the value in their audience,” Becks said. “Publishers like monetizing through commerce because it sets them apart.”

Spotlighting female entrepreneurs and products

In 2022, the publisher nearly doubled traffic to shopping content related to International Women’s Day, on March 8, according to Mormile, and it aims to capitalize on a potential surge by offering its readers a visible forum to shop the products its staff recommends.

Brands talk about being around female-safe content, and if you are putting your dollars into social media, you are not doing that.

Samantha Barry, editor-in-chief, Glamour

Rather than a fulfillment operation, the shoppable storefront will act as an extension of Glamour’s existing affiliate program, generating revenue each time a shopper buys a product, according to Jen Mormile, the chief business officer of the Condé Nast Lifestyle division. 

The Glamour 100 will also feature editor reviews and brand spotlights, and the businesses will receive digital and physical seals to alert customers of the recognition. 

While inclusion in the Glamour 100 is determined by the staff, any women-owned business can apply to be listed in the Powered By Women database, said Barry.

“We have been in a lot of rooms where brands talk about being around female-safe content, and if you are putting your dollars into social media, you are not doing that,” Barry said. “I feel strongly that, if you care about women’s empowerment, you should be spending your money on brands like Glamour.”

Valuable data and advertising inventory

The advertising running adjacent to the Glamour 100 offers brands an opportunity to broadcast their support for women-owned businesses, potentially tapping into ESG and DEI budgets, said Mara Greenwald, a partner and managing director of commerce and performance media at Mindshare.

But the storefront diverges from traditional retail media, which typically courts performance budgets, in that the listed businesses are unlikely to wield the kinds of budgets Glamour would like to secure for the inventory.

Plus, especially at its launch, the volume of traffic funneled to the storefront will be minimal.

As a result, the landing page hopes to attract brand advertisers aiming to reach female-centric audiences, including those from non-endemic categories, Mormile said.

Brands can also buy the sponsorship as part of a bundled package whose touch points include social media, podcasts and virtual shopping events, in addition to on-site.

Readers who visit the storefront will provide valuable signals about their purchase intent and categories of interest, Greenwald said. Condé Nast can use this data in direct advertising buys, or sell it to other companies looking to reach similar audiences.

“In the beginning, advertisers are probably going to get more out of the brand-value element,” Greenwald said. “If it becomes more successful, then you get to unlock the commerce data.”

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