GLAMI GOES TO 2019
2018 was another great GLAMI year!
- We’ve helped fashion fans enjoy more fashion items than ever before: nearly 1.75 million fashion packages were shipped to customers in 2018 thanks to GLAMI. Imagine the twirls in front of a mirror!
- This translates to fashion sales worth about 80 million Euro delivered to our partners through the largest online fashion platform in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.
Some of the team’s achievements in 2018 that helped us to get there:
- We launched four new countries: Russia, Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece. We entered Greece by acquiring Ntynomai.gr and rebranding it to Glami.gr. Our fashion search engines GLAMI and Stileo now operate in 13 countries across Europe.
- We created a new brand identity to unify all our customer communications and launched a new TV campaign. We tested three different versions to get the best outcome.
- We launched the GLAMI Deep Tagging system in six countries to manage the scale and diversity of fashion being sold across all the countries where we operate. No jobs were lost during this shift, and we are now able to categorize and further structure our assortment in a better way.
- We’ve started five different growth-hacking projects, and I’m grateful that they all started as internal projects at your initiative. Thanks to that, we were able to extend our content, introduce better filtering, start working with small local designers, think differently about specific categories, and prepare GLAMI to be more personalized.
- We have moved to a new beautiful office. Thanks to all of you, it works not only as an office but also as a space where we organize meetups and conferences, watch movies after work and have lots of fun.
- We also went coworking in Barcelona for a few days. And there will be another edition of a GLAMI secret trip, this time in April.
- We celebrated our fifth birthday, fully prepared and organized by you. Thank you for that and I hope this will become a new tradition.
- We drank 1,284 beers together, but who wants to keep count.
- We have published the first version of Fashion (Re)Search, which received great feedback across all countries. Making the fashion business more transparent and listening to our customers is critical as we expand into more distant countries and cultures.
Long story short: Together, we grew GLAMI by more than 100 % year-on-year. Again.
And what has made me the happiest? We have doubled the team to 66 great people in Prague, and in the whole Inspigroup, there are now more than 120 amazing individuals. Did you know there are people on the team who refused offers from companies such as Google and Amazon? That means a lot to me, as it shows that they believe in our team and in our mission.
To make my summary truly comprehensive, I mustn’t forget some of the challenges we’ve 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, and communication and information flow between chapters and countries, are still not as smooth as they could be. Being open and keeping people in the loop is more crucial than ever as the team grows.
- Celebrating individual contributions and learning from mistakes is key to maintaining quality in our teams. We haven’t had 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 to keep learning so as not to fall behind. 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 issues frankly will we be able to face them and address them. Overall, I am really happy that we are fulfilling our goal of being the largest independent source of fashion trends and items sold online. Our 2018 results show that we are on the right path.
2019 - THE YEAR OF RESPONSIBLE GROWTH
Fashion is already the largest e-commerce category in most developed countries, and it is also the fastest growing segment. But it still accounts for only 10 % of all fashion retail. Ninety percent of fashion is still purchased in brick and mortar stores. This tells us that we have a long way to go. We can only do this by always standing on the side of our customers, helping them to uncover new brands that suit their individual styles, and allowing them to shop comfortably and reliably.
There is one more thing I would like to emphasize this year.
You may have heard that fashion is one of the highest polluting industries.
If you haven't seen yet, I recommend that you watch The True Cost, a documentary exploring the impact of fashion on people and our planet. Everyone in the industry—producers, sellers, brands and customers—is beginning to realize the negative impact of the fashion industry on the environment. 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 have become more visible:
- Adidas started a product line using plastics taken from the oceans to make sports shoes and apparel.
- By 2022, Mango aims to have 50 % of its cotton originating from sustainable sources.
- Reebok has recently introduced plant-based shoes that are produced from sustainable materials.
- Production of Nike’s Flyknit generates 60 % less waste than normal trainers.
- Patagonia initiated their “business to save our home planet” even before it became 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. The company reveals the true cost of production and shares the factory and production stories behind each piece of clothing.
Our Fashion (Re)search confirms this trend. We’ve found that:
- 60–80 % of customers are willing to pay more for sustainable fashion.
- 45 % of customers have purchased a product from a sustainable or ethical brand 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 their purchase.
And this is exactly where GLAMI should play a role.
- Giving our customers accurate and unbiased information.
- Giving our customers the possibility of choice.
- Sharing the stories of responsible fashion brands.
- Showcasing local designers and explaining the advantages of local production.
- Promoting producers who provide a safe, fair and ethical working environment for their employees.
- Helping consumers navigate the complexity of promises and what's “real” versus what’s “greenwashing.”
Why? Because people care and because, as Ecoalf says, “there is no planet B”.
Does that mean we drop 90 % of the items we list? We still want to gather and organize all fashion in one place so that anyone can discover it. If we are to help the fashion industry become more responsible, we need to support change and encourage progressive, sustainable brands by promoting their stories, and then let shoppers decide.
If at the end of 2019 I could say that we’ve helped people shop more responsibly and meaningfully at GLAMI, I would be really happy. We would know that we have done something good for ourselves and our planet.
These are the main priorities for 2019 based on the points above and on discussions with our countries and chapters:
- #GLAMIAI. From a long-term perspective, our advantage has to be the best available 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. Simplifying a customer's journey to find the right product is our long-term promise to GLAMI users.
- #GLAMIreviews. We want to know which products, brands and shops our users are happy to recommend, in order to help customers make more informed shopping decisions, while lowering the number of returned items. There are many unknown brands that try harder than others but do not have a chance to be discovered – we want to change that.
- #GLAMIresponsibility. We need to respond to people's interest in the sustainable segment and to highlight brands that are making a commitment to produce their products in a sustainable way.
- #myGLAMI allows for smart personalization, bringing customers a better user experience while browsing GLAMI categories and organizing their personal profiles, and results in increased user engagement.
- Expansion. We will launch four more countries this year to help our current partners expand to new markets, find new customers and grow without roadblocks.
- Brand building. Currently only a fraction of online shoppers benefits from the great experience we have built in fashion discovery. Continuing to establish our brand and finding new loyal users will help to show our effort to the world and to give us a public voice.
IF WE WANT TO PUT A NUMBER ON IT
These projects are crucial to build a better GLAMI for even more users. We are confident this is the best way to bring great customers to our partner shops to surpass sales worth 200 million Euro this year.
Great wonders lie ahead — let’s embark on the journey!
Thank you so much!