The office supplies retailer say it sacrificed some sales to improve online profitability. It also redesigned its business-facing e-commerce site, StaplesAdvantage.com.
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GiltManual.com offers tips on brands, grooming, etiquette, food and drink, and how to develop a personal style, and intertwines it with shopping. For example, a top navigation tab on the home page titled Sales leads shoppers to the log-in page of Gilt Man. And there are plenty of other subtle cues to shop—such as a changing graphic at the top of the site that lists the items on sale at Gilt Man at any given moment.
To keep the content fresh, Gilt updates the content site several times per day with blog posts, features, profiles, how-to guides and advice. Beyond its full-time editors, Gilt Manual also boasts big-name regular contributors including Michael Williams, who writes the design and lifestyle blog A Continuous Lean; and Joshua David Stein, who has written for Maxim magazine and The New York Times. Gilt used digital agency Code and Theory, which has done design work for editorial web sites including Vogue.com, to design the site.
"A new generation of guys has discovered the joys of dressing well—because they want to, not necessarily because they have to," Thoreson says. "This renewed interest in looking good has been accompanied by a thirst for knowledge. Guys today don't just want to know what to wear. They want to know how to wear it, and where, and when."
Thoreson adds that he wants the Gilt Manual to be interactive. "Gilt Manual isn't just about the one-way flow of information," Thoreson says. "We want Gilt Manual to be the place guys come to talk style the way they talk about sports—with passion and humor."
There's also an 'Ask Us Anything' box tempting readers to start a dialogue. And Gilt is more than willing to provide an answer, especially when the question is: "How do I complete a purchase on Gilt?"