GLOSS.COM READY FOR RELAUNCH

Byline: Cassandra Chiacchio

NEW YORK — It spent a long time waiting in the wings, but it’s finally here. Gloss.com will relaunch next Wednesday.
The beauty e-tail site, jointly owned by The Estee Lauder Cos. Inc., Clarins and Chanel, originally was created in 1999 and acquired by Lauder last spring for an estimated $20 million.
“Gloss.com was one of the first Internet companies to benefit from other’s mistakes,” said Peter Hirshberg, president of Gloss. Hirshberg, who had previously served as director of enterprise markets at Apple Computers and whose new-media strategy firm developed marketing strategies for brands like America Online, Microsoft and Pacific Bell, says that Gloss.com still has a ways to go. “Gloss is a marathon, not a sprint,” he said.
More than 5,000 products are featured on the Web site from MAC, Stila, Chanel, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Clarins, Origins, Bobbi Brown and Prescriptives, which marks the brand’s first foray into e-tailing. “All our research showed that women want to shop on a multibranded site,” said Hirshberg. Each of the brands featured on the e-tail site has its own boutique.
“Each brand has retained its own identity,” said Deanna Kangas, one of the original founders of the Web site and now vice president of marketing. For example, the Origins boutique features its stress test, while the Clinique boutique offers its trademark personal consultation.
Purchases are made individually from each boutique and then delivered to the online site’s universal shopping cart. “We will carry everything the brands have to offer unless it is a retail exclusive,” said Kangas.
As for adding brands, Hirshberg said more should launch on the Web site within the next calender year. “There is a lot of interest there,” he noted.
“It’s building more than just brand awareness,” Hirshberg continued. “It’s building cross-brand awareness as well as brand relationships.”
Indeed the e-tailer offers more than just products. The home page reads: “Shop your favorite brands. Get inspired. Read the latest news, solve a beauty dilemma, check out this season’s runway looks, find your signature fragrance.”
Different sections were designed to offer various tips and tools, and editorials feature the latest news from the industry as well as updates on trends and gift suggestions.
“Gloss is a great fusion of beauty and technology,” said Martha McCully, the e-tail site’s editorial director. According to McCully, a former beauty director at Allure: “We definitely have our consumer in mind. They can easily find trends, expertise and entertainment as well as real stories — in which no products are mentioned. It’s important to establish credibility.”
Gloss also offers interactive beauty tools such as Color Tester, which allows the user to draw with the color as well as see how it looks along with other colors; What to Pack, an interactive cosmetic travel planner; and Fragrance Finder, created with the Quest fragrance supply house, which has photos that represent different scents.

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