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One of the major problems with women's fashion magazines is that, in an age of instant gratification, they sell readers on products that those readers can't easily purchase. Even though each spread is credited, shoppers are basically left out in the cold when trying to locate the items pictured, and long lead times mean that editors often play a guessing game as to when product will actually be available in stores. Glamour magazine and AHAlife are looking to bridge the gap with a new shopping app, debuting today to coincide with the arrival of the March issue on newsstands nationwide.
"We know that we have a great following in print and that those readers read us online and on their phones," said Glamour executive digital director Mike Hofman. "Our mobile audience for the website has grown to be north of 40% and close to half of all users. We're constantly looking for new and interesting ways to harness the power of mobile."
Shauna Mei, AHAlife's CEO and founder, says the partnership goes beyond the phone. "We didn't just build an app, we built an entire commerce solution for Glamour magazine," she said. "The solution includes two components: shop.glamour.com, a fully-integrated commerce site that allows Glamour readers to browse and buy editors picks, and the shopping app," which uses image recognition software to display the shoppable items from the page on your phone.
Both fashion spreads and ads will be shoppable, says Hofman, and users can select from a wide variety of brands. Upwards of 200 are represented for March, from fashion biggies like J Brand and See by Chloé to beauty labels such as Shiseido and L'Oréal; more will be brought on board for each consecutive issue. One thing that the Glamour team is particularly excited about is that the app and shop.glamour.com will offer a universal shopping cart experience—meaning shoppers can select multiple items for purchase yet need only transact once and items will arrive packaged together in a Glamour box.
Inside the app.
"Shop Glamour is a great fit for our advertising partners who look to Glamour to deliver ROI," said Glamour vice president and publisher Connie Anne Phillips. "With this program, they have the benefit of showcasing their product in the context of a curated retail environment with unprecedented reach."
The app and website are a product of AHAlife's new internal division, AMS (AHAlife merchant services). "We can leverage our tools and technology [on these projects]," says Mei. "We've already built out commerce tools and data analytics for for ourselves and it was a great opportunity for us to white label those for an American heritage brand such as Glamour.
AHAlife is working closely with Glamour editors to curate the merchandise in Shop Glamour. Says Hofman, "They've been super flexible working with us on somewhat difficult print deadlines." Neither AHAlife nor Glamour would disclose the terms of their partnership (AHAlife will take a percentage of sales), but Hofman says that "we're already deep into planning for April and it's an ongoing project."
· Shop Glamour [App Store]
· Glamour [Official Site]
· AHAlife [Official Site]
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