Flipboard is a great news service, and since it’s largely available across Android and iOS, we have a feeling most of you are already very familiar with it. You can browse your favorite news feeds complete with large images in an almost magazine-like format. Now, the company is taking a unique approach to another lost shopping form: catalogs.
Instead of simply reading news or browsing articles on men’s fashion, you can now start to order the items that you’re reading about. So if you see something about a brand new pair of Vans sneakers, for example, Flipboard will provide an actionable price tag next to the sneakers so that you can order it. The onus is still on publishers to actually add the price information and create the catalogs, but we think this could eventually allow anyone to serve up a catalog. To start, though, Banana Republic, Fab, ModCloth and a few other retailers are planning to publish entire catalogs. Browse through Banana Republic’s catalog, and you might see a pair of khakis you like. Tap it, buy it, and you’re done.
As The Verge notes, you can’t currently add your payment information into Flipboard for seamless checkout process, instead you’ll need to navigate over to the retailer’s website to finish buying your item. Flipboard could do well implementing a direct payment service, so that users never need to leave the application.
Catalogs, at least for most of my generation, are already dead. The Web is a much easier place to seek out and buy items, but if we can browse our favorite brands from a tablet or smartphone, checking out the season’s newest items, then catalogs could see a nice rebirth.