August 24, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Last week, Google unveiled a new app for catalog shopping called Google Catalogs (naturally). It has a slick interface to find items, browse full catalogs on tablets, and share interesting items with friends. It’s a fabulous app…for your iPad.
It might seem strange that Google would release an iPad-first app. Interestingly enough, you don’t have to wait for the coming-soon Android version because a catalog-shopping app is already available through The Find.
Catalogue by TheFind is a digital mailbox for clothing, electronics, home & garden, food & wine catalogs. Users can shop through one of two ways: a tablet-optimized version that links to individual item pages, or see full scans of the printed catalogs pages. CBTF shows a stream of tiles highlighting products from a variety of stores likes Crutchfield, Eurosport, J. Crew, Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, Williams-Sonoma, and many more. The app even has special sections for things like Back to School, which highlights laptops, backpacks, dorm furniture, and new clothes.
Shoppers can browse catalogs by swiping left or right to turn the page, and double-tap to zoom in. The picture quality is poor when zooming and doesn’t provide easy links to ordering, so it makes more sense to browse in tile mode. That will provide detailed descriptions, photos, links to share to Facebook, and direct links to order the products online (when available).
Catalogue by TheFind makes catalogue shopping a much better experience than going to the mailbox ever could. The information is readily accessible, plentiful, and well-organized. The app could benefit from some in-catalog organization like showing only jackets, but users can at least quickly locate items through a search function. Users can save catalogues or items, quickly locate products, and do anything from upgrade their wardrobe to redecorate a room. It won’t locate every product you need, but it’s a good tool for discovery shopping.
App: Catalogue by TheFind