Catalog Shopping Apps For The iPad
For well over 100 years, people have shopped using catalogs they received in the mail. Although online shopping has more or less supplanted the mail order business, a catalog is still a great way to see a large variety of products from the comfort of your sofa. The iPad allows shoppers to continue this tradition without killing any trees, and affords retailers an opportunity to revamp their catalogs into something that doesn’t look like it’s 100 years old. Some apps so faithfully recreate paper catalogs that it feels as if you are turning pages. Other apps reimagine the concept of the catalog or offer entirely new paradigms. Whichever type of app you choose, you’re sure to find something to help with your shopping needs!
Why not start your journey with something familiar? The IKEA Catalog app recreates the feeling of the retailer’s famous catalogs nearly exactly, and adds additional features. Once you download a catalog, you can swipe through it, tap on items and then save them, share them, or buy them. You can also load additional information and views from IKEA’s website, and even view extra content for certain products!
Design Within Reach by Revel Touch
If you’re looking for more furniture, Design Within Reach should be your next stop. The app is divided into three sections, “inspre,” “learn,” and “shop.” The shop section offers a fairly standard grid of item photos you can click for more information or to purchase. What makes the app a standout are the other two sections, because they contain details about furntiure and design. By adding two categories with descriptions and photos, Design Within Reach created a catalog they could never have sent in the mail— or put online in such an aesthetically appealing fashion.
When you need a new TV or a set of speakers, instead of going to Best Buy or checking Amazon, try loading the Crutchfield app to learn about the products first. Instead of simply offering products for sale, Crutchfield presents content more commonly found in Consumer Reports or a Home Theater Magazine, to help consumers find the product that’s right for them. Even if you don’t like catalogs, Crutchfield’s catalog and app is a fabulous source of information.
Sears for iPad
If you need a lot of different kinds of stuff, you should check out Sears, the original everything store. Sears is widely considered to be the originator of the catalog business, so it’s nice to see them do more than just display their print catalog on a tablet screen. Instead, Sears presents its wide variety of products in an iPad-friendly layout, and even includes product groups called “occasions” for easier browsing.
CoffeeTable: Catalog shopping for the iPad and iPhone
If you like catalogs, you’re sure to like CoffeeTable, as the app includes multiple catalogs! Like your mail in December, the CoffeeTable app includes many catalogs from numerous retailers. That’s right, you can browse catalogs from Crate and Barrel, Champion, and many others from within the same app! If you create an account or sign in with Facebook, you can even like products, save them for later, or buy them from within the app.
Catalogue by TheFind - the best catalog app for your holiday shopping spree - period
If you like the idea of multiple catalogs in one place, you have other options too. It makes sense to check out all the options before deciding which app to use, because each has different catalog offerings. Fans of the popular shopping portal The Find may prefer Catalogue, as it is integrated with that service. Users can log in with their Facebook accounts to save and subscribe to catalogs. Catalogue offers digital versions of print catalogs from numerous merchants, including older issues. You can search for specific items, browse, and even send pages and/or items to friends.
Catalog Spree – free catalogue shopping app for iPad
Another option for a “one stop shop” catalog app is Catalog Spree. The app includes useful features such as gift lists, weekly sale circulars, curated lists from the “community,” deals, and the ability to shop at websites from within the app. Once you create an account, you can esubscribe to specific stores, and Catalog Spree will email you when a new catalog is available. The app also recommends catalogs for you, and lets you save items from multiple stores to buy later.
If you're still not sold on the idea of a digital catalog, maybe it would help to know that Google has its own app for that. Google Catalogs doesn't revolutionize the genre, and is notable mostly for its focus on Collages. That's right, you can add items from different catalogs to your own personal collage! And if you're looking for inspiration, you can browse other users' collages. Once a catalog is loaded, browsing via gestures is smooth and responsive. Unfortunately, you must still load the catalog’s own web page to check out.
Anyone with kids should check out Shopmox’s Kids Clothes. Kids Clothes includes virtual catalogs from several popular clothing stores for kids of all ages, all of which you can browse from within the app. In addition, if you add stores to "your Shopmox" the app will show you a personalized catalog with new items each day. The app doesn't try to replicate paper catalogs, which makes it faster and more responsive. In addition, you can save items you want to buy to a cart inside the app and then purchase items on different websites later.
Catalog by Shopify
The next step is to try an app with a somewhat looser definition of the word “catalog.” Catalog by Shopify is a good introduction to the digital catalog, as it falls somewhere between a website and a paper catalog. The app has virtual catalogs for individual shops, many of which are smaller independent stores. You can also browse by category, bypassing the stores entirely.
Fans of curated news should be excited to try Svpply’s curated clothing catalog. Svpply’s aim is to bring its users “the world’s best products,” and the app lets them save or buy them once they create an account and log in. The app is minimalist and well-organized, and may be helpful when looking for products outside of your normal wheelhouse or shopping for gifts.
Speaking of gifts, you’re sure to find something for everyone on your list at Etsy. The app version of the Internet’s favorite store may not be a catalog in the traditional sense, but it is a photo-rich way to browse and save products you like from a large, sometimes overwhelming website. If that’s not the point of a catalog, I don’t know what is.