Google has breathed new life into an old idea with the release of its Google Catalogs iPad app. The free application allows users to browse print catalogs digitally using a searchable, interactive platform, reported Time and Mashable.
Retailers such as William Sonoma, L.L. Bean and Macy's are lining up to have their catalogs featured. Users get the best of both worlds: a flippable print -like catalog in a website format.
Search for specific items across catalogs, save the products that strike your fancy and then share these must-haves with friends by creating your own collages. You can also purchase these items from the online store or get directions to a nearby shop to pick them up yourself.
Other features include a zoom lens to see products up close and clickable tags for an item’s details.
The app also has customization options, including the opportunity to edit photos, select a background and revise the text. For another multimedia kick, the tablet app offers videos, such as cooking demonstrations from William Sonoma.
Dozens of retailers have already jumped on board, and customers can receive alerts when new catalogs are released.
This is Google’s second attempt at a catalog program; in 2001, the company launched Google Catalog Search, a compilation of scanned catalogs that was shelved in 2009 due to lack of interest.
In 2010, the Internet giant took another stab at digital shopping through Boutiques.com, a personalized shopping website that allows visitors to discover new fashion favs in boutiques operated by celebrities, stylists, designers and fashion bloggers.
Google may be going out on a limb with this program, but businesses are not: Retailers can be featured at no cost and users are directed straight to the label’s website. Google will also send companies data about how their shoppers are interfacing with their goods.
While Google claims more versions of the app are on their way, Google Catalogs in currently only available for the iPad.
Do you think Google Catalogs will succeed as a concept?