Famous Footwear Uses Digital Publishing Tools for New M-Commerce App


National footwear retailer Famous Footwear launched The Famous Footwear Stylezine, a seasonal style magazine that showcases new looks and allows customers to browse and purchase shoes available on their website and in their 1,000+ retail locations.

Created on the mag+ platform, the app provides a shopping experience that is truly a departure from what consumers have come to expect while using mobile devices. The user swipes and scrolls through beautifully created, interactive pages designed specifically for the tablet. All images in the magazine are designed to be “clickable and shippable” so by tapping on any shoe you are taken to its product page within the app. Check out the unique shopping experience in our video below:

Famous Footwear’s launch of this innovative digital retail presence happened at a time when m-commerce, shopping done on tablets and smartphones is rapidly growing. According to a data from comScore, mobile commerce is continually rising, as at the time of launch it mentioned 31% increase from previous year and 11% share of all digital commerce happens on smartphones and tablets. Interestingly, almost half of the digital shopping time is spent on mobile devices. This means that while consumers are only starting to purchase products on their tablets and smartphones, they are spending considerable amounts of time browsing for products on them. Apps like the Famous Footwear Stylezine that are optimized for browsing but also allow consumers to purchase, without leaving the app experience, perfectly fit the current consumer behavior.

We caught up with Bill Wilson, Director of Interactive Creative Development at Famous Footwear, to get his thoughts on the development process and hear about his team’s creative vision. Here’s what he had to say.

Why did your team decide to build a style magazine, or “Stylezine”, instead of a traditional mobile storefront?
We wanted something that was less expected and more engaging for our customer/reader. We’ve been doing an iteration of the Stylezine for about two years now, and while the vision was always to be a unique combination of brand vehicle, product catalog, and editorial style guide, we had never been able to fully execute on that, either because of the restrictions of page coin in print or potential development time for web versions.

The tablet, on the other hand, is the perfect place for this experience. The excitement for us was in the ability to tailor the iPad version of the Stylezine specifically to take advantage of the benefits of the tablet format, rather than retrofitting something created in another medium or platform (print, web). That’s what we believe offers unique value to our customers.

Is mobile commerce an important part of your future retail strategy?
Absolutely. Even with over 1,000 stores, mobile use is growing exponentially for us. We love the way our Stylezine makes every single product pictured clickable and shippable, without taking someone out of the app experience.

Why did your team choose to use the digital publishing tools offered by mag+? Do you have any favorite features within the app?
When we discovered the mag+ system, and saw that it would allow us to concentrate on the design and content aspects of the project without being impeded by coding or development requirements. We realized it was exactly what we were looking for. We visited your site on a Friday morning, and by that afternoon we had already begun work on our first issue!

One of our favorite features is simply how all the content is right there within the app… you press play, you see video instantly, no links, no delays, no breaks. And having the HTML code in there allows us to be what we want to be—creative—in finding ways to leverage the app’s features to their full potential.