We applaud Net-a-Porter’s decision to launch Porter, a 250+ page glossy that comes out every other month. Unfortunately, we think it fails to live up to their hype of “combining the intimacy of the printed page with the instant gratification technology allows.”
David Moth of eConsultancy reviewed the print magazine’s scannable app and asked “is it any good?”
“Net-A-Porter unveiled a new print magazine last week which it hoped would disrupt the old model of print publishing through new innovations such as shoppable pages,” writes Moth.
A lofty goal, to be sure.
Porter was designed from the start to leverage scanning technology to connect readers to digital content – including videos, purchase information, and links to brand websites.
The idea is good, but in practice it’s clunky, according to Moth, who gave the app a thorough run-through.
“One slight problem is that the product lists are tied to entire articles rather than pages, so when I clicked on one particular pair of shoes I was shown a list of more than 30 products including jewellery and books,” says Moth. “I assume this is because it would be too much work to individually tag each item, but it might occasionally be frustrating for the reader if they just want to find out about one particular product.”
Occasionally frustrating might be putting it mildly, as one of the basic tenets of a good digital experience is to deliver exactly what the user expects at each click along the way.
Another drawback? Links to advertised brands go to that brand’s main website, many of which are not optimized for mobile viewing. This is a huge problem in a mobile app. And the VIP-shopper feature directs users to a phone number to call customer service. Not exactly cutting edge.
As more ecommerce sites embrace the power of print and launch magazines, we are going to see digital content interaction take shape in many forms. Net-a-Porter has some good ideas; let’s see how they can refine them as this magazine develops.