Google Makes Catalogs Digital…and Shoppable


A view of the current library of catalogs.

We may have been skeptical about Google’s last foray into the fashion and shopping world, but their new retail-focused app is nothing but brilliant. alerted us to Catalogs, which just launched in the iTunes App Store. Google has partnered with stores like Neiman Marcus, Crate & Barrel, Urban Outfitters, West Elm, L.L.Bean, Nordstrom, Ralph Lauren, Design Within Reach and more to tablet-ize their print catalogs.

A screenshot from the Design Within Reach catalog.

Download the app, and you’re greeted with a library of catalogs organized by category—women’s fashion and apparel, jewelry, gifts, beauty, home, men’s fashion and apparel, and kids and baby. Select a catalog to page through it. Overlays allow you to get details about the products pictured, and with a tap, you can go to the retailer’s website to buy the shoe, dress or couch you’re interested in. Using geo location, the app also helps users to “find nearby” if they’d like to visit a brick-and-mortar shop to purchase.

A page from the Anthropologie catalog.

Google has built in a “favorites” section so users can save products, pages and catalogs they like to one place and a cool, easy-to-use Polyvore-like “collages” area where you can create your own inspiration boards with images pulled from your “favorites” folder. Unfortunately, aside from Gmail there aren’t any sharing tools built in, so there’s no easy way to Tumble or Tweet a spread you like (we assume an integration with Google+ is forthcoming). Regardless, for shoppers this is a truly revolutionary app.

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