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Lucky magazine launches shopping app with universal bar code reader

Lucky magazine has a new mobile shopping application with a universal bar code scanner that acts as a companion to the print magazine.

The Lucky Shopper app lets users scan a variety of types of 2D bar codes to compare prices. The app addresses the growing use of smartphones by shoppers while they are inside stores to compare prices and access other information.

“Lucky is a magazine about shopping, this app acts as a companion to the magazine because all bar codes can be read by this one app within the pages of Lucky,” said Maura Randall, digital managing director of Lucky magazine, New York.

“A majority of female smartphone owners have used their phones while shopping for the products featured in Lucky,” she said.

“Top activities on smartphones when shopping are: sending pictures to friends to get opinions, price comparison, seeking reviews, and scanning bar codes. It makes sense to extend that experience from the magazine to the wide world, aggregate all of that functionality into one place, and marry it to Lucky’s trusted voice.”

Tuned to readers
One of the app’s key features is the ability to read UPCs, QR codes, Microsoft Tags and Digimarc digital watermarks. All previously appeared throughout the pages of the magazine but readers were required to use several different apps to scan them.

If  a bar code is not associated with an item appearing in the pages of the magazine, users can select a photo to save and share.

Lucky can also marry content to UPCs to return information at the point of sale such as price, Lucky content and special offers.

“There are apps out there that are specifically for generic price comparison, but none tuned to the lives of the Lucky reader in this way,” Ms. Randall said.

Users can also share what they are buying, discover new trends, watch exclusive videos and find Lucky’s favorite stores around the country.

Another feature is the ability to organize scanned and photographed items into lists.

The app is being promoted in the pages of Lucky magazine, with entire pages devoted to the app as well as mentions throughout. It is also being touted on the Lucky Web site and in a Lucky video series. 

Advertisers can use the app to announce special offers, events, videos and customized shopping games that launch when their products are scanned.

The Lucky Shopper app is available for iPhone and Android.

The magazine’s goals for the app include giving readers access to Lucky wherever they are and, longer term, to have complete portability between all devices for shopping preferences and profiles.

The Lucky Shopper App was developed with Nellymoser.

The Lucky magazine about shopping and style has a circulation of over 1.1 million and is published by Condé Nast.

“We’ve got some cool stuff going on with other apps like fourquare and Fashism,” Ms. Randall said.

“But it’s not really about simply complementing mobile—it’s about complementing the Lucky universe,” she said.

“You can use Lucky Shopper when you’re reading the magazine, the Web site and every time you go shopping, either virtually or in-store. It means that Lucky is there with you for every step of the shopping process. Lucky has truly become the equivalent of a personal shopper with this app.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York