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Real Simple steps up mcommerce initiatives with shoppable Mother’s Day app

April 23, 2012

The Real Simple app

Time Inc.’s Real Simple is aiming to make Mother’s Day shopping easier with an application that lets users buy a selection of edited products.

In addition to buying gifts, users can also donate to March of Dimes, which is the launch partner of the app. Real Simple is working with mobile payment service DropWallet on this initiative.

“Gift guides have always been a popular part of Real Simple, and consumers come to us for unique, creative and affordable gifts for many occasions,” said Kathleen Harris, managing editor of, New York.

“We launched a holiday gift guide app at the end of 2011, and we decided to make the gift-buying experience that much easier with the debut of mobile commerce in our new Mother’s Day Gift Guide app for iPhone, which launched this week,” she said.

“It is a great way to keep consumers engaged with the brand, to make shopping even easier for them and to diversify our revenue stream at the same time.”

Mobile giving
Users can download the Mother’s Day Gift Guide iPhone app for free download from Apple’s App Store.

The Real Simple app lets consumers shop 50 products that have been selected by Real Simple with picture galleries that users can swipe through. Search results can also be filtered by gift categories including office, home, clothes and travel.

The app also lets users save favorite items, connect to Real Simple’s Facebook and Twitter pages and download other Real Simple apps. Real Simple is offering a free trial of the magazine to app users, which helps the magazine sell subscriptions to users who might be interested in the Real Simple brand.

To buy a product, shoppers need to create a DropWallet account that can be attached to a credit card.

Users can shop products and donate to March of Dimes

March of Dimes is running banner ads throughout the app that let consumers donate to the charity. Encouraging users to donate to a charity while they are already in gift-buying mood is a smart way for Real Simple to include its partner in the app.

The banner ads lead to March of Dimes’ Web site, which is not optimized for mobile devices. Although it is a good idea to direct to a site, it forces users to pinch and zoom to read the text.

Mobile shopping
Real Simple is not the only magazine taking advantage of mobile to make its products shoppable.

For example, last year Mastercard partnered with Wired magazine’s June 2011 iPad app to let users shop products from the pages (see story).

Giving readers the option to directly buy featured products while browsing through a digital version of their favorite magazines adds an extra level of engagement. However, it is also important for brands to maintain their editorial voice and image via mobile.

“The publishing industry has circumnavigated commerce for some time, choosing to focus on the content,” said Kate Gleckner, director of marketing and brand management at DropWallet, Cherry Hill, NJ.

“Yet, as mobile and tablet usage continues to rapidly increase, publishers can no longer resist the need to enhance their content with commerce functionality,” she said.

“With DropWallet’s digital content commerce solution, the industry will be able to seamlessly integrate commerce while continuing to deliver quality content. Publishers will finally offer their readers an exceptional in-content shopping experience within their print editions, Web sites and mobile and tablet apps.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York 

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