Flipboard, the image-heavy, mobile news aggregator is encouraging readers to shop with a new “create your own catalog” tool.
To get you started, they’ve contracted with some heavy hitters to create catalogs of their own. InStyle, The Verge and Nylon Guys have created collections of their favorite things. You’ll also find curated catalogs from Chef Daniel Boulud (“Holiday Favorites”), designer Cynthia Rowley (“All Things Cynthia”), singer Sara Evans (“A Real Fine Place”) and actress Alyssa Milano (“Gifts for the Woman in Your Life”).
These catalogs are a mix of products from a variety of brands that fit into a theme. Then there are the brand specific catalogs from Banana Republic, Birchbox, eBay, Etsy, Fab, Levi’s and ModCloth.
These digital catalogs look a lot like their printed brethren, but every item can be purchased by clicking through the app. Anything that shortens the distance between purchase intent and checkout is a good thing. Flipbook catalogs are a good thing+.
To make it even better for all ecommerce sellers, everyone can create a catalog. The only downside is you can only create catalogs online using the Flip It bookmarklet on your browser bar.
When you see something you like in an online store, you click it and flip it. The tool pulls over the price, photo and any text you’ve highlighted. Then you drop that flip into a catalog you’ve already started or a new catalog. (Thinking pinning images to different boards in Pinterest.) In the example, Flipboard builds a catalog of cute holiday sweaters from a variety of retailers.
Since you can share your Flipboards with others, it’s the perfect wishlist tool for the holidays. Send your Flipbook to mom and all she has to do is click the pictures. The app will automatically hook her up with the correct retailer of the product.
Right now this service is completely free, but Flipbook is hoping major retailers will buy ads to promote their catalogs. If it goes over well, they could ask for an affiliate kick-back on sales and make a little money on the side.
If you have an online store, there’s no reason not to create a Flipbook catalog. It’s just another way to get your products in front of new customers and it’s free. Can’t beat that.