Magazines Publishing

Glamour redesigns website to focus on 85% of its audience

Glamour, a Condé Nast magazine which ceased regular print publication last year, recently unveiled a redesigned website. The new website prioritizes the mobile audience and marks an important milestone in the publication’s digital evolution.   

“Doubling down on digital”

According to Comscore, Glamour.com attracts around 7 million people per month with 85% of the traffic coming from mobile devices. The redesign has made it easier to swipe and slide through content on a mobile device. The new homepage has more stories visible above the fold and includes multimedia content like videos and podcasts, as well as product recommendations.

We’re doubling down on digital — investing in the storytelling, service and fantastic photo shoots we’ve always been known for, bringing it to the platforms our readers frequent most. We’ll be expanding video and social storytelling, with new and ambitious series and projects.

Samantha Barry, Editor-in-chief, Glamour

Renewed focus on e-commerce

E-commerce is going to play a big role, as Barry wrote in a note on the website redesign, “In the coming weeks and months, you’ll also see a lot more shopping content (carefully curated by our editors to save you time) because you’ve told us you want more style and beauty recommendations.”

Beauty is the fastest growing sector of the lifestyle magazines owned by Condé Nast and is forecasted to grow by 21% in the next five years. A spokesperson for the publication told Digiday that in 2018 e-commerce at Glamour grew 158% year-over-year and is already 67% ahead of projections in the first quarter.

A study commissioned by Condé Nast last year in partnership with Tapestry, a leading research firm with specialization in the consumer decision journey found that content from Condé Nast publications is three times more influential in a consumer’s purchase journey than any other company’s content. It also found that consumers of beauty products spent 80% of their time gathering information across content platforms, including social and print, digital and video,  before making a purchase.

Video is also going to be a top priority: in 2018, around 5% or 45 million of Glamour’s total video views came from the website. This has driven the decision to have videos featured prominently on the home page, as well as blended in with written content on the website.

The challenges ahead

It’s not yet clear how this redesign will tie-in with Condé Nast’s recent announcement that all of its websites will go behind a paywall by the end of this year. Condé Nast is flexible about how paywalls across its various websites are going to work, according to Barry.

“One of the great things at Condé Nast is that we can learn from the other publications. I think the paywall will take different variations based on the publication. We’re in the exploratory phases of what that looks like for Glamour,” she said in the interview with Cheddar. She was open to the possibility of paywalling only selective or “niche content,” like motherhood or career-related articles.

American web publisher and journalist, Elizabeth Spiers, who was the Founding Editor of Gawker and Editor-in-chief of the New York Observer before founding Breaking Media, says “I think readers view [lifestyle publications] as somewhat dispensable, even when they love them. And I’m not saying no one will subscribe. But you have to be prepared financially to build with a small audience of diehards because you’re not going to convert the casual readers if you make them pay. If they can weather seeing their traffic drop, and figure out how to better monetize the diehards, maybe it can work.”

“Everybody that works in media is trying to decide. You can’t do everything. You have to make your bets on where you think the growth is,” says Barry. She plans to “evolve the brand as a major force on video, digital, and social media platforms.”

Photograph by Alexa LaSpisa

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