How much consumers are still buying remains a question—but that hasn’t stopped magazines from launching mobile shopping applications.
Now, Teen Vogue is betting that teens haven’t soured on shopping with the introduction of its own iPhone app.
The app, set for a pre-holiday launch, will be an extension of the Teen Vogue Haute Spot, the magazine’s pop-up retail store now in its second year. Like mobile apps already offered by shopping and teen titles Lucky and Seventeen, the Haute Spot app will let users peruse the apparel and beauty products found in the store and click to buy them.
“It is as if you’re walking into the store and closets of Teen Vogue,” said Laura McEwen, Teen Vogue publisher. The products featured will be a combination of editors’ and advertisers’ picks. As to whether the line between ads and editorial content will be blurred, McEwen said she expected it to be clear to the user which are which.
“There’s a clear delineation between editorial and advertising,” McEwen said. “We like to keep that clarity.”
The Haute Spot app will have a social component, too. Users will be able to curate a digital “wardrobe” from the featured items, then send their selections to friends using Facebook Connect.
“Shopping for the youth market is by nature a social experience,” McEwen said. “We believe they also use the Internet as a social experience. We’re bringing the [three] things together: shopping, socializing [and] social media.”
Teen Vogue is testing a 99-cent price for the app, hoping to get users to augment ad support for it. Fashion advertisers, after all, haven’t been in a big spending mood this year. Teen Vogue’s ad pages declined 35 percent this year through the October issue, although that decrease shrunk to a decline of 9 percent for the month of October, per the Mediaweek Monitor.
McEwen said she’s cautiously optimistic that parents will spend on their kids for the holidays, though. “There’s no doubt that the economy has affected a wide range of advertisers,” she said, “but we believe if we can help drive consumers to retail, we will have a better performance over time.”