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Brides magazine heads down the mobile commerce aisle

Brides, one of the oldest wedding publications in America, is letting brides shop and buy dresses via mobile.

The Brides Dressing Room application lets users browse hundreds of dresses and gowns while on the go. The application also features click-to-shop online, click-to-schedule a fitting and click-to-email functionality.

“Once engaged, brides-to-be spend over 30 hours a week planning for their wedding,” said Michelle Panzer, director of communications for Brides, New York. “We’ve always known we have a special consumer in readers of Brides and in order to cater to this insatiable shopper we’re always looking for ways to bring new and innovative, broader and more interesting and current venues and opportunities for her to acquire what she needs and for many brides that starts with the gown.”

Brides is published by Condé Nast. Launch advertisers for the application include IKEA, L’Oreal, Diana engagement and wedding rings, Bulova, Qamea Resort and Slimquick.

NearbyNow powers the application.

The local search company is no stranger to applications for magazine brands. NearbyNow is also responsible for the Seventeen Fashion Finder application and Runner’s World Shoe Shop (see story).

Consumers can browse for dresses through a variety of options.

A search for plus-size dresses is also available.

After the perfect dress is found, consumers can check the availability of dresses and schedule an appointment with a local bridal shop for consultations and fittings.

One of the most popular features, according to Brides and NearbyNow, is the opportunity to email the dress to others.

“We know weddings are no longer local,” Ms. Panzer said. “We know not everybody in the bridal party lives right near each other, but now they can immediately send selections of bridesmaids dresses to bridesmaids to get thumbs up or thumbs down.

“It’s really an exciting collaborative approach to shopping through technology, especially in this day and age when we don’t have the luxury of being with our girlfriends all at one place and time,” she said.

Scott Dunlap, CEO of NearbyNow, said that the target demographic for the application, fairly affluent women between 20-35 years old, matched iPhone users.

Moutain View, CA-based Mr. Dunlap, said that the ads in the application will be interstitial, with one appearing every fourth or fifth image similar to how advertisements appear on the Seventeen Fashion Finder application.

Mr. Dunlap said that he believes location-based applications are becoming more popular, especially with magazine clients.

When people are given the option, Mr. Dunlap said that the find-nearby feature is used 17 times more than the buy-online because smartphone users are out and on the go while in the act of shopping.

“Finding something nearby is more convenient,” he said. “The location-based buy-nearby feature is becoming an impulse-purchase mechanism.

“Across all mobile users 0.5 percent buy online, but 5 percent reserve an item in store and go in and purchase that item or a completely different one.”