Dwell + AhaLife Launch Shoppable Magazine. This is Very, VERY Cool.

For a while now I’ve been hearing people say (and saying myself) that nowadays, publishing is influencing commerce more than vice versa. Catalogs are going the magazine route and magazines are going the catalog route. (Skip to the bottom if all you’re really interested in is my absolutely brilliant new word choices for this trend.)

It wasn’t always this way.

As a retailer, especially if you’ve been in the biz a while, you probably already know this. You didn’t always have to provide rich content along with awesome product in order to drive sales. It used to be a matter of, “We’ve got what you need, come and get it.” Now it’s more like, “Here’s why we’ve got what you need, and here’s why we’re the best place to buy it from, and here’s what else we’ll do for you in addition to providing great products.” 

Hence the advent of content as commerce, giving way to things like Dwell Media’s partnership with AhaLife and Layar for its first ever, shoppable magazine.

Dwell’s launch features cutting-edge modern design for the home through augmented reality so readers can shop the content of Dwell magazine from their mobile devices. The Dwell+AHAlife app lets readers scan an item with their phone and then links them directly to the AHAlife site where they can purchase the item with a tap of the finger. Or for those of us old-schoolers reading the mag on our desktop computers, we can simply click the image of the product we’re interested in and voila, we’re taken to AhaLife where we can pull the purchase trigger.

Dwell is releasing the special issue as a polybag alongside Dec/Jan subscriber issues. The special mag is sponsored by Mastercard and will reach about 280,000 subscribers. The gift guide offers 77 modern designs for the home, compiled from recent fall issues of Dwell.

“The opportunity to take the content in the pages of Dwell, and create a seamless commerce experience for our readers is a win-win for us,” said Michela O’Connor Abrams, President, Dwell. “We have the amazing opportunity to give designers we love, many of them young or far away with limited access to the market, a great lift up. And our readers, who are always scouring the magazine for new ideas and products, don’t have to look farther than their phones to shop the pages of Dwell.”

This is one of many such models we’ve seen come to the fore in recent months, though larger pubs that seem to be a natural fit (fashion mags like Vogue come to mind) haven’t yet taken the full catazine, magalog plunge. Yeah, those are my terms, so what? Some, though, like Lucky, are totally down with magalog-ing. What do you think is stopping the big mags – or do you think their digital efforts have gone far enough already? And more importantly, which term do you prefer: catazine (catalog + magazine, duh) or magalog (magazine + catalog, obv)?

I know, they’re both totally genius.