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Sexy Hair teases mobile sales in Cosmopolitan via scan-to-shop ad

Hair care brand Sexy Hair hopes to tease up sales from Cosmopolitan readers by enabling them to snap a photo of its print ad and purchase hairspray directly from a mobile device, proving that scan-to-shop ads are gaining traction as brands ramp up mcommerce.

Readers picking up Cosmopolitan magazine’s May issue, which hits newsstands on April 14, will be able to buy the hair care brand’s Big Sexy Hair Spray and Play hairspray instantly with their smartphones, offering a slew of opportunities for driving impulse purchases. Sexy Hair is the premiere beauty brand to leverage commerce specialist Powa Technologies’ PowaTag platform in a major United States-based magazine.

“Cosmopolitan Magazine shares a similar target demographic to us, and we expect readers to be excited about this fun and innovative way to engage with their favorite brands,” said Adam Kwoka, marketing manager at Powa Technologies, New York. “Magazine readers are often doing ‘mental shopping’ while flipping through articles and advertisements, and now they can actually make purchases directly from an issue.”

Media and mobile shopping
PowaTag’s platform seeks to integrate traditional media with advanced mcommerce shopping technology in the May issue of Cosmopolitan. This strategy will likely help Sexy Hair stand out among the myriad of brands advertising in the women’s lifestyle publication, thanks to the instant-shopping ability.

Readers must simply scan the advertisement with PowaTag’s free mobile application to shop immediately. If Sexy Hair sees significant mobile sales from this effort, it may help establish a new standard for beauty brands seeking to maintain a stronghold in the mobile marketplace.

“We expect our technology to proliferate in print advertising in the coming months,” Mr. Kwoka said. “Enabling a transaction in a non-traditional way allows merchants to attribute sales to specific ads and ad placements, while enabling the customer to engage and transact at the point of impulse.”

While print ads have traditionally been used to spike consumers’ interest and fuel future purchases, scan-to-shop platforms have the ability to turn that standard around and follow a pique-then-buy model. Reaching a wider audience of on-the-go consumers on mobile also offers the possibility of massive sales conversion.

PowaTag has partnered with other beauty brands before, but Sexy Hair is the first beauty marketer to leverage its technology in consumer print advertising.

L’Oreal Paris USA is also furthering its stake in the mobile space by teaming up with PowaTag to enable users to purchase beauty items by scanning cosmetics in magazine ads or in stores with their smartphones (see story).

Industry opportunity
PowaTag claims this is a significant opportunity for the beauty industry as a whole to better cater to consumers and reach even wider audiences. Cosmopolitan’s readership reaches more than three million Americans with each issue.

Consumers are increasingly searching for ways to shop on their own terms and time, leaving it up to brands to roll out engaging and relevant advertisements on their preferred channels of communication, which mobile is a core part of.

Cosmopolitan readers may download the PowaTag mobile app to purchase the Sexy Hair product at any time. Users can also scan a PowaTag QR code each time they spot one for additional commerce opportunities and instant checkout processes.

Customers may receive rewards and discounts on their favorite brands’ items within the app as well.

“PowaTag’s technology allows brands to nearly eliminate shopping cart abandonment by enabling instant checkouts, and increasing conversion on mobile devices,” Mr. Kwoka said. “Using PowaTag in conjunction with a mobile strategy is an excellent way to maximize consumer interaction with brands.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York