Yahoo buys a social shopping site
Yahoo! Inc. on Friday agreed to acquire Polyvore, a leading social shopping site and specialist in the field of native advertising.
Founded in 2007, Polyvore acts like in a social networking site in enabling users to put together and share "sets" of clothing, accessories and lifestyle goods "that express their love for style and shopping in a compelling, digital, social setting," according to a statement. In contrast to Pinterest, every item can be purchased from a retailer.
"Polyvore’s success has been finding a way to marry the solitary act of online shopping with the social interaction of a shopping trip to the mall, bringing 350 retail partners together with a cadre of fashion-loving stylists and bloggers to offer community-sourced trends, visual outfit boards assembled by other members and tips on mixing and matching items," wrote Adam Tschorn for the Los Angeles Times.
Polyvore earns money through a cost-per-click advertising model. A newish Promoted Products ad feature also lets retailers pay to promote and feature an item on the site’s "What’s Trending" section.
Over 20 million people use the shopping site every month, the most frequent users being 20-something fashionistas.
Polyvore competes most directly with Wanelo (short for Want Need Love) but a host of other social sites such as Minted, Canopy, Lyst and Svpply also focus on curating and aggregating trends for sale in different ways.
Yahoo will help monetize Polyvore, which will remain a stand-alone platform across the Yahoo network and integrate with Yahoo Gemini, Yahoo’s native advertising network launched with big fanfare last year. Polyvore will strengthen Yahoo’s digital magazines and verticals, such as Yahoo Style and Yahoo Beauty, through the incorporation of community and commerce, and together Yahoo and Polyvore will sell and run native shopping ads that drive traffic and sales to retailers.
Polyvore will also accelerate Yahoo’s Mavens growth strategy (mobile, video, native, social) through its offerings in social, native and mobile. But Yahoo was particularly interested in Polyvore’s native ad technology, which involves advertisements so well-integrated into a platform that they resemble other content.
"Every time we’ve seen an engaged community, we’ve seen magical things happen," Simon Khalaf, Yahoo’s SVP for publisher products, told The New York Times. "This is exactly what we see in Polyvore. Their content is actionable. We were very attracted to this model."
- Yahoo to Acquire Polyvore – Yahoo
- Fashion forward: Yahoo acquires social-shopping site Polyvore – CNET
- Yahoo Buys Polyvore, a Site Focused on Shopping – The New York Times (tiered sub.)
- Yahoo to acquire social shopping site Polyvore – Los Angeles Times (tiered sub.)
Do you see the use of native advertising on sites such as Polyvore as a valuable opportunity for retailers to bring e-commerce to social media? Are there pitfalls to such an approach?