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Advertising on Polyvore – What You Need to Know

In July 2015, Yahoo announced that they were acquiring Polyvore, a community-powered, social commerce destination. Polyvore has made a name for itself in the e-commerce world through its visual collages (Polyvore calls them “sets”) of items that users can group together from its database of 100 million home and fashion products. Yahoo’s Polyvore acquisition opens up a whole new set of considerations for brands and retailers that advertise on Yahoo product ads as well as those that advertise just on Polyvore. Let’s dig deeper to understand how advertising on Polyvore can be leveraged to maximize returns for your business.

Why Did Yahoo Acquire Polyvore

Polyvore has a number of things going for it. To begin with, it boasts a large and loyal social following. Every item displayed on Polyvore can be bought instantly; the site simply links back to the original retailer’s website where shoppers can complete their purchases.  This combination of social popularity and hardwired e-commerce capabilities has turned Polyvore into the largest online community dedicated to fashion. Deemed ‘Pinterest-meets-Amazon’, Polyvore is seen by some as the perfect combination of content, commerce and community.

With Polyvore, Yahoo gets access to an active community of 9 million monthly unique visitors (comScore, June, 2015), a way to improve its commerce strategy on both desktop and mobile, and the opportunity to offer brands and retailers a host of new advertising opportunities.

Advertising on Polyvore – The Ins and Outs

Both companies said that they plan to develop additional native advertising experiences that will help drive more traffic and sales to retailers on desktop and mobile. Historically, Polyvore has cultivated its advertising products to meet the needs of users, who don’t want a cluttered shopping experience, and brand advertisers who want significant return on ad spend and net sales. After revisiting its advertising strategy a few years ago, Polyvore made a decision to reduce its dependence on brand advertising and focus on delivering native ads that have the same look and feel of the editorial content on the page.  These native ads appear on Polyvore’s Shop and Product pages based on relevance to search, bid, engagement and recency. Advertisers are charged on a cost-per-click basis.

Currently, Polyvore offers two primary advertising programs: Engagement Products and Promoted Products which is its CPC program.

At CommerceHub, we’ve successfully helped our brand and retailer clients drive increased return on ad spend (ROAS) and net sales through the Polyvore Promoted Products program with a combination of technology and marketing services. DemandStream, our cross-channel demand solution, lets you easily syndicate your product catalog to the Polyvore channel out of the box, efficiently map your product catalog to the appropriate Polyvore categories and attributes, and automate product error resolution to maximize return on your advertising as quickly as possible. Additionally, our performance marketing team can help optimize Polyvore campaigns through improved campaign structure as well as bidding and targeting.

In the third quarter of FY 2015, CommerceHub helped a leading fashion specialty retailer drive a 680% return on ad spend (ROAS) on the Polyvore channel (desktop and mobile combined).

What Changes Can You Expect

As expected, Yahoo has been partnering with Polyvore to roll out some changes. If you’re currently advertising on Polyvore or are considering doing so in the future, here is a rundown of what you can expect:

  • If you already advertise on Polyvore, you can’t opt out of having your performance ad run on the Yahoo Gemini network. It’s a done deal.
  • As a Polyvore advertiser, you should expect to see Polyvore ads appear in Yahoo search results. However, Polyvore is not expected to “takeover” all the SERP product ads results as Yahoo will still be serving their current product ad offerings alongside Polyvore powered results.
  • Advertising on Polyvore, Yahoo product listing adsIf you advertise simultaneously on Yahoo Gemini and Polyvore, checks are in place to avoid cannibalization or increased CPCs.
  • For reporting and campaign optimization purposes, Polyvore ads that show on the Yahoo network will have their campaign metrics continue to be aggregated into the Polyvore Promoted Products Report. So, if you are used to managing your campaigns through the Polyvore interface this isn’t expected to change anytime soon.

The acquisition of Polyvore by Yahoo could be a good thing for advertisers looking to engage with more consumers or a new shopper profile overall. Polyvore has a highly engaged mobile shopping base. With the convergence of commerce and mobile and other marketplaces and ad referral channels lagging on mobile conversion, you may want to start experimenting with native mobile advertising offered by Polyvore going into the Holiday shopping period.

For more information on how you can add Polyvore to your advertising strategy and what might be in store for advertisers on this digital marketplace, contact us today.