Around here, we’re endlessly fascinated by the wide world of online shopping, and it seems that every week brings with it a brand-new e-commerce site to be obsessed with. Since keeping track of ‘em all can be a feat of epic proportion, we’ve decided to feature “A Site To See” each week, highlighting a cool retail website you’ll definitely want to bookmark. This week: an incredibly useful new site and app called Magnetique.
Why You Should Bookmark/Download Magnetique: Fashion magazines have, for years, built their businesses on creating two things for their readers: fantasies and inspiration. The latter is where Magnetique comes in: the site, which pulls triple duty as an iPhone and Android app, as well, lets you capture items you see in the editorial pages of books like InStyle and Glamour, and shows you precisely where to shop the goods.
“We see Magnetique as a way to extend the excitement people get when they read a fashion magazine,” the start-up’s CEO, Martha Pease, told us. “But at the same time, it can be a frustrating experience because you can’t act on that excitement.”
“Interestingly, the initial inspiration came from a couple of guys, the co-founders Dennis McNeill and Eugene Sokol, who watched their wives and daughters and other women read fashion magazines, pull out pages, dogear stuff, and then throw magazines in piles that never got acted on. These women were trying to find the stuff they were falling in love with in magazines, trying to find it in stores,” Pease said.
How It Works: Magnetique just rolled out its partnership with InStyle, which means select editorial pages in the magazine are “activated.” That basically means that you can use the camera on your phone to “capture” active pages by taking pictures of items you love and would like to shop. Then, when you search the item in Magnetique’s database, it shows you where to buy it: either online, or at the brick-and-mortar store closest to you.
“In most cases, what’s shown in a fashion magazine doesn’t have a complete store retail credit associated with it,” Pease says. “Not all items are sold online, and most items are difficult to find. We’re trying to give you a complete listing of where that item is available within 20 miles of you.”
However, she notes that while the default is within 20 miles, if you’re getting on a plane to go to L.A., you can also put in the zip code and it will re-sort the information within 20 miles of that zip code. “If you want national availability, you can broaden it so you can see every place it’s available nationally. And if a product is not available within 20 miles of you, we’ll show you the nearest brick and mortar store after that has it,” Pease said.
You can also use the app to shop the pages of Glamour magazine, and more magazines are currently in the works. Here’s a fun video that gives you a step-by-step tutorial on how to use it.
Added Benefits: Another cool thing about the site is that it gives exposure to local, mom-and-pop stores that major fashion magazines rarely offer. While most fashion credits you’ll find inside an issue will tell you to shop for items at major retailers or designer boutiques, Magnetique highlights local boutiques that carry the same items but wouldn’t ever be mentioned in a national magazine.