B magazine, a new fashion focused tablet offering targeted at women, aims to bridge the gap between content creation and advertising.
Bronwyn Williams, the founder of online magazine and e-commerce site Crazy Chic, has collaborated with digital media firm Clanmouse to produce B. The new digital publication lets readers tap to buy products within the pages as well as from the Crazy Chic site.
The preview issue, being offered as a free download on iOS and Android tablets, features in-magazine purchase products from fashion boutique Andrea Moore in one story, while a shopping guide article takes users to the Crazy Chic site to buy, with Clanmouse stocking the items.
"We want to put the purchasing power in our place, where you buy something from the magazine," says Clanmouse creative director Clinton Cardozo.
"The intention or idea is advertising and retail are essentially the same. We're trying to bridge that gap.
"We're trying to attract advertisers and say, 'you're advertising a commodity, what you advertise, you're selling, so why not do that in the advertisement itself?'"
Offshore, online retailer Asos also has a magazine, while Conde Naste publication Lucky has moved into in-magazine shopping.
Clanmouse is using third party software designed for digital purchasing rather than retail purchases, says Cardozo, but is developing its own technology for in-magazine buying. He adds existing publishing and retail systems don't work well together.
At the moment buyers can only buy single items from within the magazine, with details collected on a screen in the page and sent via a back end database. Clan Mouse has a couple of early partners like Andrea Moore and takes a cut of the sale, but Cardozo stresses it's early days as the collaborators test the market.
"Publishers are content creators. This is where some of the innovation and thinking outside the box comes in. Could a content provider also be a retailer?"
"When products get featured in something like the Herald on Sunday or Viva they sell out in the next week. We know there's some power in the media but we're not capitalising on that aspect of it."
The concept also taps into the loyalty media organisations generate, says Cardozo. "The consumer's loyalty is to the publication, not the products in it. You buy the magazine because of the editorial aspect."
The magazine is bi-monthly and costs $1.29 per issue or $6.49 for six issues. Clanmouse also produces the digital music and culture publication Vanguard Red, music magazine Something and has produced publications for banks including Westpac.