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Redbook revamps magazine to make featured products shoppable via mobile

March 7, 2013

Redbook is revamping its print magazine to focus more on offering affordable shopping ideas for readers, with many items shoppable via a consumer’s mobile device.

The April issue, which hits newsstands on March 12, is the first to feature the redesign. Every page of the print issue will be mobile-ready, enabling users to take a picture of a page to activate ecommerce and social sharing capabilities.

“It is really important for any magazine like Redbook to enable commerce via mobile because women have their mobile phones with them all the time,” said Nina Gerwin, CEO of Eye Capture, San Anselmo, CA. “It is becoming a ubiquitous tool for women.

“I love my magazines and I love reading them,” she said. “But I hated to have to get up to go look at a tablet or computer to look something up.

“Since I have my phone with me all the time, this is a fast and easy way to get information, whether it is commerce, to receive a video or to look up a local restaurant’s menu. I can quickly look it up, buy a product and go back to my magazine, which I am really enjoying.

Image recognition technology
Beginning with the April issue, Redbook will look to bring readers more affordable fashion, beauty and home ideas in sections such as Fashion Under $50, Beauty Under $25 and Home Under $100.

To make it easy for readers to purchase what they see, Redbook readers can use the Eye Capture free mobile application to snap a photo of a page to immediately buy the products or share them with friends.

Using image recognition technology, Eye Capture dynamically creates a mobile interface using content related to what they are reading and what is available online when users take a picture of a page.

“I strongly believe in technology and I believe in 2D bar codes and the evolution of the trigger,” Ms. Gerwin said. “They definitely have a time and place to be used but I just don’t believe that they belong in magazines.

“We all want interactivity at this point and time but we don’t want to mar the actual magazine,” she said. “When you take a picture of the page that is used as a way to create engagement.”

“It’s a process that we are working with the editors and publishers to get content that is related to each page and so it is a little bit more work in terms of what a QR code is.”

Reader value
If a reader is looking at a page of beauty products under $25 and takes a picture of that page using the Eye Capture mobile app, the reader will be able to scroll down on the phone screen to see all of the products with a link for each that takes users to the product’s corresponding page on a retailer’s or manufacturer’s Web site.

Readers will also be presented with video and other related content.

The content that Eye Capture delivers to readers is specifically tied to each magazine and issue. Therefore, using the same ad creative, a brand advertiser can have a different set of content tailored specifically for each magazine’s audience and have different content from one issue to the next.

“We are  a reader-first company,” Ms. Gerwin said. “All the design and interaction is focused on the reader and creating value for the reader.

“If you are creating more value for the reader, more eyeballs are coming and brand advertisers like to go where eyeballs are,” she said. “You create engagement and that is the one thing that print has been lacking , which is creating interactivity and engagement in a digital world.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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