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People StyleWatch gets mobile makeover with scan-to-shop contentBy
The September issue of People StyleWatch is getting a mobile makeover thanks to augmented reality application Blippar, enabling readers to scan merchandise to instantly shop the items and receive additional fashion tips and music playlists on their smartphones.
The September issue, which contains the latest looks and trends for fall, is aiming to become even more relevant to fashion-savvy millennials by including scannable content on every page, providing fans with a quick way to purchase new looks seen on models. People also recognizes that mobile is an imperative second screen to leverage, and is providing consumers with playlists to accompany several major stories, resulting in additive experience while reading the issue.
“While flipping through the magazine pages, users are able to hold their phones up to looks or items they like and buy them, right then and there, in real-time,” said Ariff Quli, chief commercial officer for North America at Blippar, New York. “Nearly every page – and therefore almost every product, piece of clothing and item featured in the StyleWatch magazine is Blippar-activated, or ‘blippable.'”
“Consumers are now becoming used to instant access across the board — from the news they read to the music they listen to, and items they choose to buy. Being able to offer this kind of groundbreaking instant access directly from the pages of a print publication sets StyleWatch apart as a magazine looking to deliver not only exciting experiences, but real function and value to its readers.”
The September issue, headed by new editor Lisa Arbetter, is unveiling a new design that enables all merchandise to be shoppable. Consumers must first download the Blippar application, and then may point their smartphone at a desired product to scan and shop within an instant.
This new functionality may very well persuade more fashion marketers to clamor to get their pieces featured in a future issue.
Scan-to-shop options are becoming increasingly more popular, as consumers yearn for the instant gratification for impulse buys that mobile is able to offer. More magazines and publications are likely to begin rolling out similar features.
The StyleWatch issue contains engaging advertisements with calls-to-action for interactivity with the reader, ranging from purchasing an item directly via the advertiser’s mobile site to finding out which “Style Vibe” corresponds with the season’s latest trends.
“Blippar has already worked with multiple other print publications, including O Magazine, Essence, Bazaar and Vogue to bring their print content to life in exciting ways and enhance the reading experience,” Mr. Quli said. “However, this is the first time an entire magazine issue has been made interactive using Blippbuilder and a publication’s own in-house capabilities.
“Many other leading publications are already looking to offer a similar level of interactivity from their pages.”
Music fans that prefer to have tunes playing while reading a new issue will now have the ability to scan ten stories in the September StyleWatch and listen to curated playlists that correspond with the articles.
Users can leverage the Blippar app to scan the logo to sample songs that have been selected to demonstrate the vibe of the piece. People’s editors have compiled playlists of indie tunes to set the tone for stories such as “Runway Secrets” and “The Feed.”
Readers may also have fun with selfies by snapping an image of themselves superimposed on the cover and sharing it with friends across social media.
Meanwhile, fashion newbies can receive helpful tips from style editors via GIFs on mobile that demonstrate how to roll shirt sleeves and how best to use curlers for wavy hair.
Additionally, People is tapping mobile to create a two-way dialogue with consumers. Readers may scan the Blippar logo to email questions and ideas to Ms. Arbetter, request style advice from fashion experts and receive quick access to the publication’s blogger contributors on YouTube.
An increasing amount of brands are realizing the power of scannable materials and integrating it into their marketing efforts.
Heineken recently tapped Blippar for a digital campaign that offered consumers a look at beer’s ingredients while stirring up interest in sustainability matters by asking users to snap a photo of a Heineken bottle to unlock exclusive content and create selfies to share across social media (see story).
Scannable mobile content is also making its way to the hotel industry. Residence Inn by Marriott drove interest in its social hours this past June by enabling guests to use Blippar to scan beverage coasters with their smartphones to access suggested food and beer pairings and customizable selfies (see story).
“We’re confident that the blippable content throughout the September issue will deliver a new and exciting experience for readers, and drive increased reader engagement for StyleWatch,” Mr. Quli said. “In order for print magazines to retain their value and readership, they need to be innovating and cater to changing consumer habits and expectations, and with this fully interactive experience, StyleWatch is doing just that.”
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York
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