Goes Beyond E-tail

Two years ago, Glam launched a “fashion start-up” Web site at, promising participation by “retail partners including Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s.” They’re still there—as are Nordstrom, Armani Exchange, Max Studio, Guess? Inc., Gap Inc. and many more. Glam gets a reported 12 percent to 14 percent of every sale that comes through the site, which is geared toward women ages 25 to 54 with upscale tastes. It offers no price or product comparisons and is definitely not for the bargain hunter.

But it’s not just all about shopping. Blogs abound. Users are prompted to join at no cost for “celebrity photos, style tips, cool quizzes and exclusive interviews.” Good, clean graphics and photos make the site very user-friendly while steering clear of clutter. In other words, a shopping- centered environment has been created with a celebrity lure that’s difficult for a starstruck audience to ignore.

“Star Galleries” is a nifty area, featuring recent celebrity sightings with the emphasis on what they are wearing. Skinnies include “Celebrities at Cannes,” “Celebrities in Airports,” Celebrities Shopping in L.A.,” “Best-Dressed Celebrity Couples,” “British It Girls” and more.

From its Brisbane, Calif., headquarters, Glam is incorporating some features that may convert its browsers into shoppers. For instance, it will display customized content to visitors based on their responses to style surveys and quizzes. It’s also planning to incorporate a social-networking feature, so visitors can create their own online style profiles and link to those of friends.

“This is a very different approach to online shopping,” said Ben Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies (a consulting team representing the site). “Taking a magazine approach and feel and integrating that into an online shopping experience is really brandnew,” Bajarin said, adding, “When it comes to buying clothes, most women still prefer the mall to the Web. But [Glam] is looking to change that.”

The site, run by a group of Internet and fashion-industry veterans, offers pages of sleek women’s fashion editorial along the lines of InStyle and Lucky magazines and is updated daily by a team of fashion editors, merchandisers and stylists. Click on any item, and the site takes you directly to an online store that sells it.

More than just a shopping experience, Glam is enhanced by lots of content, which is, after all, what makes the Web so attractive. —Jacques Marquette