Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Category review: Catalogs and shopping

Many B2B are just getting going on launching mobile and tablet products – many have a long way to go. But one category that doesn't get a lot of attention is catalogs and shopping, a category that could come into play when publishers begin to think about how to port over their old print buyers' guides to the new digital platforms.

Unlike print magazine, where some might justify a replica solution, buyers' guides are converted into a replica would be an incredible missed opportunity.
Apple recently added the Catalogs category to its App Store and to date there are well over 1,100 free catalogs now available for the iPad, over 1,000 for the iPhone. There are paid catalogs, as well, but as you'd expect, far fewer.

Neither Google Play nor Amazon have a category called Catalogs. Both use the "Shopping" category to house catalogs. Many of the apps found here that are not catalogs, like eBay's apps, can be found in Apple's App Store under "Lifestyle".

Publishers would be wise to download a few of these new digital products before proceeding. Mobile is an incredible opportunity for B2B. Features like maps, email, texting and phone calling are all obvious opportunities to improve on the old print model.

Advertising opportunities are also apparent. Video, slideshows and use of those communication features are all areas where up sales are possible.

More importantly, though, the buyers' guide is often the one chance reps have to sell some of their smaller clients, and to get a token ad from bigger clients than haven't add your title to their "A" schedule. A digital product, with new features, may the way to lure those customers back to your title, not to mention your other digital products.