Singaporean start-up to turn South-East Asia’s top magazines into “point, snap, pay” experiences
· iQNECT partners with C True to launch visual search and m-commerce in 6 leading magazines in Thailand
· Readers can access videos, claim offers, and make purchases by snapping print magazines with their phone
Singapore, 7 September 2015 – iQNECT, Singapore’s leading visual search start-up, today announced it will partner with Thai Creative and Engagement agency C True to introduce its image recognition and m-commerce capabilities to two leading Thai magazines, Image and IN, and four international titles including Her World, Maxim, Madame Figaro and Attitude.
iQNECT’s “visual search” app enables magazine readers to access interactive digital content simply by taking a picture of any page’s images with their smartphone. Performing this familiar action instantly brings up content like videos, invitations, exclusive digital offers or coupons – and most importantly, the option to instantly buy the item photographed without having to go to a website or store.
Apart from enhancing the reader’s experience and enjoyment of the magazine, visual search technology captures the critical moment when peak consumer interest is met, providing instant additional product information and the ability to click “buy” within a single app. iQNECT’s app also provides ways to deepen engagement with readers, including augmented reality capabilities that let users virtually “try on” products by viewing real-world items through their smartphone screen. Publishers like C True can use this technology to add huge value for advertisers, who traditionally had no way to directly or instantly convert a reader’s product interest into a purchase.
“We challenge the belief that print is a dying medium,” said Niamh Byrne, Chief Operating Officer, iQNECT. “Visual search acts as a bridge between the sumptuous tactility of print media and the instant responsiveness of m-commerce. The technology enhances readers’ magazine experience by instantaneously connecting them with content and m-commerce options that relate exactly to what they’re reading. For publishers and brands, that means the point of inspiration and point of sale can now be virtually indistinguishable – dramatically lowering drop-off rates and raising the ROI of any creative campaign.”
Her World Thailand, the first of C True’s magazines to work with the iQNECT app, will enable readers to view videos and exclusive product offers by taking photos of the magazine’s cover, features, and selected advertisements; and, from November, instantly purchase the exact or similar items found in the magazine’s pages. All purchases occur without the reader leaving the app, maintaining high levels of security and data protection while delivering a seamless “one-touch” buying experience.
“Magazine readers – and consumers more generally – are already accustomed to photographing and sharing print media that they love,” said Laikram Lerdvitayapasit, Managing Director and Publisher of C True. “iQNECT’s platform allows publishers to monetise this behaviour in a clearly quantifiable way that simultaneously increases reader engagement with our and our advertisers’ content – all within a fast and intuitive back-end platform that permits huge creative latitude in advertising and marketing campaigns.”
The partnership marks iQNECT’s first commercial venture in Thailand, adding to a number of successful partnerships around Asia with companies including Dove, Cinime, Ben & Jerry’s Ice-Cream, and a major agency network in China. iQNECT’s full m-commerce platform will be publicly available, at no upfront cost to customers, from mid-November 2015.