Last week, MasterCard announced a partnership with Condé Nast that will allow readers of digital magazines to instantly buy items in articles or ads without leaving the page of their tablet.
Wired is the first publication to offer ShopThis, which is tied to MasterCard's MasterPass digital wallet. Readers exploring the pages of Wired's November tablet edition on an iPad tap a shopping cart icon on the page to put an item aside for purchase. They can also easily see product details and selection options (size, color, etc.). If the reader chooses to buy, they can check out without leaving the magazine page. As the first official retail partner, Rakuten.com, the Japanese e-commerce giant that creates digital stores for retailers and acquired buy.com in 2010, fulfills the orders.
"Today's consumer should not have to think about the shopping process," said Garry Lyons, chief innovation officer for MasterCard, in a statement. "When they see what they want, they should be able to get it, as quickly as possible. ShopThis with MasterPass turns this into a reality — you see a product, click to put it in your shopping cart, and check out — simply and safely."
Allure and Glamour, two other Condé Nast publications have also experimented with mobile commerce, but ShopThis is said to offer more of a seamless experience between commerce and content.
The New York Times likened ShopThis to a number of other digitally-driven, instant-buy emerging technologies. Another example is Peapod's upgraded app, which now enables customers to restock basics by scanning barcodes at home.
Speaking to the Times, Mr. Lyons said the click-through shopping technology is "digitally agnostic" and could potentially work across many digital mediums.
"There is no reason why ShopThis couldn't be rolled out when watching a movie or video," said Mr. Lyons said. "You see an actor who has a nice shirt on, you activate ShopThis. This is an example of incubation where we move quietly, test, learn, iterate."
How widespread will the practice of marrying magazines with e-commerce become in the future?