GLAMI goes to 2019

Tomáš Hodboď

Tomáš Hodboď

15. 2. 2019

Last week they had the All-Hands meeting in GLAMI summarizing 2018 achievements and discussing this year's priorities. As Michal and Tomas have nothing to hide and they adhere to maximum transparency in their communication, we made the speech available to everyone. Perhaps it will help GLAMI to reach what they have set :)

GLAMI in Barcelona


2018 was another great GLAMI year!

We have helped to discover and purchase more fashion items than ever; 1 745 976 fashion packages were shipped to customers thanks to GLAMI. What a joy we have delivered!

This translates to over 2 billion CZK worth of fashion sales delivered to our partners. There is not larger online fashion destination in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.

Here are some 2018 achievements of the whole team that helped us get there:

  • We launched 4 new countries. Russia, Turkey, Bulgaria and entered Greece by acquiring and rebranding to Our fashion search engines GLAMI and Stileo operate already in 13 countries in Europe.
  • We created a new brand identity to unify communication towards the customers and launched a new TV campaign. Actually, we managed to iterate and test 3 different versions to get the best outcome.
  • We launched GLAMI Deep Tagging system in 6 countries to manage the scale and diversity of fashion being sold across all the countries we operate in. No human lost a job during this shift, but we are able to categorize and further structure the assortment in a more detailed way..
  • We started 5 different growth hacking projects. I am grateful that they all started as internal projects, that you took the initiative. Thanks to that, we were able to extend our content, introduce better filtering, started working with small local designers, to think differently about specific categories. And prepare GLAMI to be personalized.
  • We moved to a new beautiful office. Thanks to all of you it works not only as an office but also as space where we organize meetups and conferences, watch the movies after work and lots more friendly gatherings.
  • We all went coworking in Barcelona for a few days. Another edition of GLAMI secret trip will happen again, this year in April.
  • We celebrated our 5th birthday which was fully prepared and organized by you, thank you for that and I hope this new tradition will continue this year.
  • We drank 1284 beers together, but who would keep count.
  • We have published the 1st version of Fashion (Re)Search which received great feedback across all countries. Making fashion more transparent and hearing from the customers is critical as we expand into more distant countries and cultures.

Long story short: We grew GLAMI together by more than 100 % YoY. Again.

But do you know what made me actually the happiest? We have doubled the team to 66 great people in Prague office. In the whole Inspigroup, there are more than 120 amazing people. I do enjoy having a good time with you! BTW, did you know that there are people in the team which refused offers from companies such as Google or Amazon? It means a lot to me as it shows that they believe in our team and in our mission.

To make my summary comprehensive I mustn’t forget some challenges we have been facing as we grow and discover new levels:

  • We were late to start our AI initiatives and slower than needed to deploy new tools for visual search and more interesting ways of fashion discovery.
  • Cooperation between the teams, communication and information flow between the chapters and countries is still not as smooth as it could be. Opening up to others and keeping more people in the loop about what you are working on is more crucial than ever as the team grows.
  • Celebrating individual contributions and learning from mistakes is key to maintain quality in our teams. We lacked a performance-review and feedback-giving framework. That is something we are currently working on.
  • Growing fast also means we need to improve our ability to recruit new talent and keep learning not to fall behind in our role. This is both a responsibility of every individual and something we want to support as a system.

I believe that only by talking about these things frankly, we are able to face them and fix them. Overall, I am really happy that we are fulfilling our goal being the largest independent source of fashion trends and items sold online. 2018 results show that we are on the right path..

Fashion is already the largest e-commerce category in most developed countries and at the same time the fastest growing. But it still only makes about 10 % of all fashion retail. 90 % of fashion is still purchased in brick and mortar stores. This reminds us that we still have a long way to go. We can only achieve this by always standing on the users’ side, helping them uncover new brands that suit their individual style and help them shop comfortably and reliably.

There is one more thing I would like to emphasize this year.

You may have seen or heard that fashion is one of the highest polluting industry.

(If you haven't seen yet, I recommend watching the documentary exploring the impact of fashion on people and our planet The True Cost.) Everyone in the industry—producers, sellers, brands, and customers—are realizing the negative impact on our environment more and more. According to the Pulse of the Fashion Industry report, 75 % of fashion companies have improved their sustainability score compared to last year. And their actions became more visible:

  • Adidas started a line of products using plastics taken from the ocean to produce sports shoes and apparel.
  • By 2022, Mango aims to have 50 percent of its cotton originating from sustainable sources.
  • Reebok has recently introduced plant-based shoes that are produced from sustainablematerials.
  • Producing the Nike Flyknit generates 60 percent less waste than normal trainers.
  • Patagonia started their “business to save our home planet” even sooner than it started to be cool.
  • Ecoalf is on their way to “create the first generation of recycled products with the same quality, design and technical properties as the best non-recycled products.”
  • Everlane is all about transparency. They believe customers have the right to know what their products cost to make and where they were made. They reveal their true costs and share the factory and production stories behind each piece of clothing.

Our Fashion (Re)search confirms this trend as well. We found out that

  • 60-80 % of people are willing to pay more for sustainable fashion.
  • 45 % of customers have purchased a product of sustainable or ethical brands over the past 12 months.

BUT ... 48 % of customers do not know which brands are sustainable or ethical.

Low awareness of sustainable brands is the biggest barrier to the purchase.

And this is exactly where GLAMI should play its role.

  • Giving our customers correct and unbiased information.
  • Giving our customers the possibility to choose.
  • Sharing the stories of responsible fashion brands.
  • Showing local designers and explaining the advantages of local production..
  • Informing about those, who provide a safe, fair and ethical working environment during production.
  • Helping consumers navigate the complexity of promises, and what's “real” versus what’s “greenwashing.”

Because people care and “because there is no planet B”, as Ecoalf is saying.

Does that mean we drop 90 % of the items we list? We still want to gather and organize all fashion in one place for anyone to discover. If we are to help shift the fashion industry to be more responsible, we need to support change and encourage the brands that are doing steps forward by promoting their stories, why people should care and let shoppers decide.

If I could say at the end of 2019, that we helped people shop more responsibly and meaningfully at GLAMI, I would be really happy. We have done something good for ourselves - and our planet.


From all of this, from the discussion within the countries and chapters, we put the main priorities for this year which we want to focus on.

  • #GLAMIAI. From a long-term perspective, our advantage has to be the best technology. Marketing is the source of our growth, but technology is our long-term competitive advantage. We will strengthen our AI / ML activities to new levels.
  • #GLAMIcore. Simplify the customer's journey to find the right product is our long-term promise to users.
  • #GLAMIreviews. We want to know which products, brands and shops our users are happy to recommend, in order to help them make more informed shopping decisions, and lowering the number of returned items at the same time. There are so many unknown brands that try harder than others but do not have a chance to be discovered - we want to change that.
  • #GLAMIresponsiblity. To respond to people's interest in the sustainable segment and to highlight brands that are taking commitment to make their products in a sustainable way.
  • #myGLAMI allows for smart personalization, which brings customers a better user experience while browsing GLAMI categories, organizing their personal profiles, increasing users engagement.
  • Expansion. We will launch 4 more countries this year to help our current partners expand to new markets, find new customers and grow without roadblocks.
  • Brand building. Still, only a fraction of online shoppers benefits from the great experience we have built in fashion discovery. Continuing to establish our brand and bring new loyal users helps show our effort to the world and gives us a public voice.


These projects are crucial to build a better GLAMI for even more users. We are also confident that it is the best way to bring great customers to our partner shops to surpass  200 million EUR in sales this year.

Great wonders lie ahead — let’s get on with our journey!

Thank you so much!

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