By Aimee Chanthadavong

Content marketing for a long time has been used a tool by retailers to connect with their customers. But given changing times, the focus is no longer about magazine publishing but tablet publishing – which is fast becoming a popular option.

Woolworths liquor group Cellarmasters has recently caught onto this trend, launching its Cellarmasters Magazines iPad app.  One week after launch it was the fourth most downloaded free magazine app on Apple’s Newsstand ahead of The Australian Women’s Weekly, Men’s Health Australia and other popular magazine titles. 

Speaking to RetailBiz, Shane Mitchell, CEO of Reddo Media – the company that helped Cellarmasters develop their app, said this form of communication allows retailers to deliver content on an ongoing basis, which consumers can refer to on-hand.

“A retailer is able to do this successfully by curating content that creates demand or interest around a particular season or range they have. This is unlike mobile websites because an app can help curate interest and eventually lead a customer to checkout,” he said.

The new Cellarmasters Magazine for iPad contains more content than its regular print catalogues. Freed of the limitations of print, it becomes easier and more economical to add more editorial content. These extra pages are designed to attract and retain customers by offering relevant advice and items of interest to wine lovers. Plus readers can purchase wine from within each digital publication served by the content app.

According to Mitchell, content-based apps allow retail brands to blend the best features of print catalogues with the convenience of e-commerce to result in greater engagement and relevance.

He advises retailers can no longer ignore the fact that there’s a surge in mobile device usage and believes it’s time to act before it’s too late.

“What we could see is retailers are challenged by deciding what the right approach to engage with customers is. They’re looking for a solution or technology that allows them to extend their in-store experience for customers, at trade events and we’re see more apps being used by retailers to educate their in-store staff and use it to focus on driving additional value in-store,” Mitchell said.

“For Cellarmasters what this allows them to do is to differentiate them from their competition and we believe these form of magazine is a beautiful way for retailers to reward their customers for being loyal to them.”