Yahoo Moves Into Social Fashion Sales With Polyvore Buy

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2015-07-31 Print this article Print

Polyvore is a popular shopping site in which users give and receive ideas and buy items from a thriving online style community of vendors and users.

If you're interested in shopping for "skater skirts" for under $100 or finding out what Blake Lively's favorite evening wear ensemble looks like, then you may be shopping for those things on Yahoo from now on.

The pioneering Web search and services company on July 31 revealed that it is acquiring social-oriented shopping site Polyvore. Terms of the transaction were not made immediately available.

Polyvore is a popular shopping site in which users give and receive ideas from a thriving online style community of vendors and users. Polyvore provides brands and retailers a way to connect with influential consumers and drive sales through real-time advertising solutions.

The addition of Polyvore and its active community of about 20 million monthly users is aimed to augment Yahoo's consumer and advertiser offerings, which already include Yahoo Style and Yahoo Beauty.

Polyvore Founder, Yahoo CEO Are Old Buds

It's significant to note that Polyvore founder and CEO Jess Lee and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer worked together at Google a decade ago. Mayer recruited Lee into Google's elite associate product manager program, and Lee later worked as a product manager on Google Maps—a Mayer project—for several years.

"Polyvore has perhaps the most amazingly engaged digital community of passionate style lovers creating shoppable content anywhere," Simon Khalaf, Yahoo senior vice president of product and engineering, wrote in his blog.

The two neighboring Silicon Valley companies—Yahoo in Sunnyvale and Polyvore in Mountain View, Calif.—will work together on selling native shopping ads to drive traffic and sales to retailers. More importantly, Polyvore will help boost Yahoo's growth strategy in mobile, video and social—areas in which the social commerce site has performed well and where Yahoo has historically had trouble.

"Our core mission of empowering people to feel good about their style will remain the same, but with Yahoo's help we'll be able to make Polyvore even bigger and better for our user community," Lee said in a press statement.

New Addition Will Advance Yahoo's Overall Strategy

Polyvore will strengthen Yahoo's digital magazines and verticals 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 also will accelerate Yahoo's Mavens growth strategy (mobile, video, native, social) through its offerings in social, native and mobile, the company said.

On Polyvore, users put together sets of clothing, accessories and lifestyle goods that express their style in a social setting in which they feel as if they're among friends. Polyvore will bring its native ad model, new native ad formats and advertising relationships with more than 350 retailers to Yahoo's native advertising platform, Yahoo Gemini.

Yahoo executives talked about Gemini at length in last week's earnings call.

Following the closing of the acquisition, Polyvore products and services will continue to operate as usual. The Polyvore team will join Yahoo offices in Sunnyvale, San Francisco and New York; Lee will remain with Yahoo and report to Khalaf.


Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK. Twitter: @editingwhiz
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