Publishing companies are desperate to connect the offline world of print magazines to the social customer and on-the-go mobile shopper. In response to the need to shorten the distance between traditional print and shopping online, magazines now seek to provide readers with direct access to retailers via their smartphone, known as mobile commerce. This new dimension to magazines is being forged by partnerships between publishers and third-party vendors who transform the-once standalone pages into the first-step in a mobile shopping user experience. Publishers understand that content drives commerce, and the more creative and less like traditional advertising, the more likely readers are intrigued and more willing to consider a purchase.
Internet Retailer reported back in 2012 about the Teen Vogue app, which offers discounts on merchandise and helps users find stores nearby that carry items featured in the app and magazine. Recently, Meredith launched Mom+ app which acts as a scanner across the June and July issues of Parents, American Baby, FamilyFun and Ser Padres, which includes interactive bonus content, e-commerce offers and advertisements and BOF reported earlier this month that m-commerce is experiencing rapid adoption and an influx of eager investors in Japan.
Last Tuesday, Folio hosted a webinar with panelists Michela O'Connor-Abrams, President of Dwell, and Rachel Gogal, Design Director of Advertising at GQ, to discuss the rise of m-commerce. The session provided an extensive overview of how each magazine is appealing to a mobile shopper through the integration of shopping technology, and how this technology affects the bottom line.
"Contrary to popular belief, traditional (print) media is not dying, it is evolving ... and this is a great time to be in the industry." - Rachel Gogal, Design Director of Advertising at GQ
Imagine purchasing your favorite fashion magazine with all its colorful advertisements and editorials. You pick up your smartphone, hover it over a page and a video advertisement plays. For its September 2012 issue, GQ partnered with Aurasma, the world's leading augmented reality company, to create the GQ Live app, which has received 75,000 downloads to date and an average click-through-rate of 13%.
While it's certainly a relief to hear that the big publishers aren't doing away with our beloved print magazines (Folio also reported that yesterday that Bauer plans to release three new print titles), the evolution of static pages into interactive, digital advertising does change the game a bit. While everything might be coming up pixelated roses for advertising departments and clients with deep pockets, will the relationship between editors and PR professionals be be preserved when magazines have a vested interest in working with companies who want to pay to have their products light up under iPhone? Rachel did mention that augmented reality offers additional opportunities for editorial content, but it's still murky territory. Even if there is a clear separation between advertorial and editorial content, when m-commerce becomes par-for-course, what is the role of editorial in a reader's expected shoppable experience. Will magazines offer the same functionality to editorial placements, or are we at risk of a further deduction of true editorial space in our glossies?
About Elle Mason
With humble East Coast beginnings, Elle is a unique master of communication with a combined ten years of experience in entertainment, public relations, and start-up companies. In the heat of all her serial careers, Elle has always had a love for fashion and the new trends surrounding it. She has the gift of communication and the desire to aid in the betterment of those industries in which she serves. In that passion, she started The Elle Creative and Lifestyle Agency, LLC , currently in the freelance and consulting stages. Connect with Elle at TheElleCreative-at-Gmail.com or www.ElleCreatesLife.
Photo Credit: foch