By Michelle Manafy on 04/11/2014
Among women’s media brands, Glamour has never been just another pretty face. Striving to reflect and inform the wide range of interests of its 17 million print and digital readers, Glamour takes a 360-degree perspective, covering everything from clothes and culture to careers and celebs. It addresses the woman as “the whole package”—while acknowledging her love for a kitten heel. This week, the brand launched its first ever digital spin-off to better serve the beauty needs of its readers: the mobile-optimized destination Lipstick.com.
The confluence of mobile, beauty and Glamour readers created a perfect storm for the launch of Lipstick.com according to Mike Hofman, Glamour’s Executive Digital Director. “Mobile is such a huge part of the way women, including our readers, discover beauty content,” he points out. The brand sees 52% of its monthly uniques coming from mobile and, according to Hofman, Glamour’s beauty department readers actually over-index for mobile.
Hofman says that they also found that Glamour’s beauty readers were more likely to stay within the beauty section and sample like-minded content. Likening the behavior of this reader segment to viewers who “binge-watch TV,” he says they “visit the site at a very high frequency and stay for a longer session duration. This is a very engaged reader and we said, ‘let’s create a space that really caters to her.’”
While the Glamour.com site has used responsive design since 2012, Lipstick.com was conceived of as a mobile destination first and foremost. Recognizing that women are often seeking inspiration during those found moments on the way to a meeting or while waiting for friends at a coffee shop, the site features a prominent “Ideas” button on the top right of the page. There, the reader can find handy galleries of nail colors, haircuts, makeup and more designed to inspire.
In some ways, Hofman says the site’s design is also reflective of the ways in which women get ideas via social media. “In our demo, social media is an extension of the readers’ personality.” Beauty, he points out, is a particularly rich area for social engagement. This is reflected in the inclusion of an “Instagram-like heart on our pages” so that readers can communicate to others what they love most. They’ve also launched a beauty tip series on Instagram called “InstaBeauty,” which offers how-to’s delivered in 15 seconds or less.
The site uses shorter, snappier headlines and features a “tap-to-load” button for navigation to the next suggested story. Glamour’s beauty readers, says Hofman, have a willingness to try new things and their research showed that “the number of products they buy is through the roof.” Thus, the essential inclusion of a “tap-to- buy” button, which may redirect to third party sites or to Shop Glamour to satisfy readers’ desire for a quick beauty fix.
At Glamour, beauty has always been more than something aspirational and the new Lipstick.com destination will build upon the beauty how-tos the brand is known for while continuing to reflect the adventurous, experimental and increasingly mobile world its readers live in. Hofman says they are also looking at successful aspects of other Condé Nast publications for inspiration, such as Bon Appétit’s recipe box, which could be leveraged to create an idea-store for regular readers. Armed with its close-knit reader relationship and an eye to innovation, Lipstick.com looks picture-perfect for the Glamour brand.