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The Newest Mag Trend: E-Commerce

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The big news on the fashion/shopping blogs today is ShopVogue.TV, Vogue magazine's newly-launched shopping website. Not to be outdone by Vogue (actually, check that, to be outdone by Vogue, because it's really not at all possible to outdo the fashion behemoth), New York Magazine rolled out it's own e-commerce site today. Unlike ShopVogue.TV, which is an effort by the business types at the mag and is no way affiliated with the editorial side of things, Shop-A-Matic muddies the waters by boasting goods "handpicked" by New York editors. They've gone around to local shops and taken photos of items that they like, and now all of those choices have been uploaded to the site for viewers to peruse. Right now selection is limited to home goods, but will be expanded to fashion and accessories come September. As with their highly ambitious menu project, the whole idea is good in theory but falters a bit in execution. Ideally, every item would have a direct link to a purchase page, which is available sometimes. But many stores don't have websites, so you have to call them to see if the item is in stock. In other cases, you're directed to a general shop site, and then you have to navigate around to try to find the item that you're interested in buying, which can be frustrating. It is a novel approach, but one wonders if busy magazine editors can sustain a constant flow of new merchandise to the site, which Shop-A-Matic will need to survive. But beyond that, does the concept of web window shopping even appeal to you?

nymag.com Launches New Shopping Feature, Shop-A-Matic

New York, NY – Nymag.com, the Website of New York magazine, today launched a new shopping feature called Shop-A-Matic, a first-of-its-kind catalog of products available in New York City shops.

New York editors set out on foot across the city to select and photograph almost 1,000 home décor items and make them searchable at nymag.com by price, color, material, style, etc. The launch includes ten categories of home items, from beds to lamps to dining tables, and will expand to include fashion and accessories in September.

The feature is unique in its inclusion of many products available only in bricks-and-mortar shops--products that you can't even look at (let alone buy) in a single place anywhere else online. This sets Shop-A-Matic apart from online shopping aggregators which allow for comparison only between items available for sale online. Shop-A-Matic allows users to window shop from their desktops, making it useful for both targeted searches (finding a wood bed frame for under $1,000) and browsing for style inspiration (clicking through a slideshow of the latest in coffee tables). Each product featured on Shop-A-Matic includes a link to the shop’s listing at nymag.com, providing the address and phone number for the final leg of this New York retail experience.

Nexxus has signed on as a launch sponsor of Shop-A-Matic.

Nymag.com’s Fashion Week blog “Show & Talk” won the 2007 National Magazine Award for Interactive Feature and nymag.com was named 2007 Magazine Website of the Year in the Service/Lifestyle category by Magazine Publishers of America (MPA). Nymag.com attracts over 3.4 million unique visitors every month.*

· Shop-A-Matic [NY Mag]
· ShopVogue.TV To Launch At Midnight Tonight [Racked]