Catalog Spree is an iPad app that’s gone back to the web, sort of. In an update of their products, Catalog Spree launched a digital mall that “lets you browse, discover and shop your favorite catalogs online, through a new mobile web experience designed to recreate real-life window shopping through your web browser.” Say that three times fast. Seriously, the catalog space is heating up and it’s fun to observe the different approaches.
So here’s the kicker from the PR team
Catalog Spree launched a new website with new features to “mimic the real-life social interactions you find at brick-and-mortar stores.” The examples they talk about include a bunch of social media sharing tools that we’ve all come to expect in the fashtech space. There are a few added tricks to reflect the state of ecommerce as well, such as:
● Personalized catalog recommendations
● Access to exclusive promos and deals from your favorite retailers
● The ability to discover and follow other people’s collections and favorites
● Full Pinterest integration with more than 140,000 products pin-enabled – pin catalogs, catalog pages, products and even collection
The company also updated its iPad app for increased brand discovery and engagement.
This focus on retailers is consistent with the growth in mobile ecommerce. Or ecommerce that occurs on mobile devices and, at least according to Catalog Spree, does not need to be limited to an iPad app. Does anyone, ever, say Fire app? Or Samsung app? Is that even allowed?
Anyway, Catalog Spree, noting the “iPad’s explosive growth – as nearly ten percent of all e-commerce transactions were made via mobile devices in Q2 2012, five times that of 2010, according to comScore,” is quick to point out their growth as well. Catalog Spree’s retail partner count has grown from seven partners in April 2011 to more than 150 partners today and 300 catalogs.
So what’s it all mean?
It means a company that has an “iPad app  downloaded by more than half a million people, who spend an average of 95 minutes per month browsing and shopping,” has refocused their energies on building an online experience, not their successful iPad app. Yes I know they updated their iPad app, but you know what I mean.
It also means the relatively stoic space of store catalogs is heating up. Something SFFT can confirm from our conversations, and we don’t just mean past companies SFFT has interviewed. (shameless plug, sorry).
The reality is, and to be fair to Catalog Spree, companies need to be able to provide a consistent, if channel specific, engagement platform for customers. Whether this is via an iPad App or the browser. How the store catalog industry will change in the coming year, however, is the one of the most exciting, if not most sexy movements in retail, SFFT is watching for 2013.