It’s a trend we first started talking about in 2014, and the bold new paradigm for fashion mags seems to be growing. I’m talking about shoppable images in magazines, where tech narrows the gap between seeing a product in print and owning it in real time.
“Earlier this month, Hearst unveiled a new, interactive way for Seventeen and Cosmopolitan readers to shop the pages of their favourite magazines with Amazon’s SmileCodes,” writes Jessica Patterson in FIPP.
Beginning this month, readers of the U.S. editions can use their Amazon app to scan the SmileCodes next to particular products, explained publisher and SVP Donna Kalajian Lagani. The SmileCodes are Amazon’s branded version of the standard QR code, and scanning them will bring readers directly to the product detail pages.
Luxury brands like Porter have been experimenting with shoppable images for a while now; this launch into the mass market mainstream is significant.
“For our two brands, we need to be constantly reinventing and innovating,” said Lagani. “US online retail sales reached US$400 billion last year and retail ecommerce is growing at a 16 percent year over year rate. We recognise that our readers are doing a lot of shopping from their mobile phones.”
“The vision was to take our media platforms and make them shoppable in a way that consumers want them,” Lagani said. “The really cool thing is that no one has ever done this – you’ve never been able to shop directly from the pages of a magazine with one click to go directly to Amazon and buy.”
For hard-core fashionistas, it’s print all the way. This could a good opportunity to bridge that gap, as long as they remain true to the reader experience that got them to pick up that magazine in the first place.