'Architectural Digest' Relaunches 'Clever,' Focuses On Ecommerce

Architectural Digest’s digital arm Cleverrelaunched this week with revamped content, social videos and an improved user experience.

The relaunch also includes new features, like quarterly digital covers and a shopping channel. The first digital cover features a home tour and video with actress Laura Harrier, star of "Hollywood," Ryan Murphy’s Netflix miniseries, which debuts today.

With the intention of empowering readers, the new content strategy is instructional with guides and tools that allow readers to “take home design matters into their own hands,” Keith Pollock, AD's executive director, digital, told Publishers Daily.

The work behind the relaunch was based on analytics and audience feedback and “allows us to expand into content areas that address a much broader reader,” said Pollock. “We’re elevating and maturing the site’s design to reflect who they are, which is anyone investing in their homes, whether they're decorating or renovating.”

To support its readers, Clever will deliver renovation advice through new guides called “Everything You Need to Know About…” and “Before You Begin,” which offers advice on specific projects and includes tips on space planning, budgeting and permit, among other topics.

Clever
’s conversation channel intends to address consumer needs and concerns through three new themes it will introduce in 2020: money, sustainability and wellness.

The new shopping channel features single-product reviews by Clever editors and contributors in the series “I Tried It.” A new Instagram video series, “Home School,” is planned for release later this year. It will feature service tips and shopping takeaways drawn from Clever home tours. 

“We found that our audience was really responding to our product reviews, our gift guides. We have thousands of affiliate relationships,” said Pollock. “Shopping content has always been a huge part of the channel's strategy and will play an even larger role with the relaunch. We want to refine our approach to best give our readers exactly what they want.”

To support its new product-minded direction, Clever hired an ecommerce editor responsible for the creation of “commerce-minded content” and commerce-focused stories. The editor will also head up key commerce partnerships.

Last year, Cleverpartnered with Urban Outfitters to produce a line of products, with many of the pieces selling out overnight. Drawing from that success, Clever is considering more branded products in the future.

Clever branded products are of huge interest and will more than likely be in the channel's future,” said Pollock. “Our aesthetic is unique and being able to create items we know our readers would appreciate and love is very exciting.”

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