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It’s been a long time since I’ve given catalogs much thought — the ones that arrive at my house typically go straight from the mailbox to the recycling bin — but as more people are browsing and shopping online via tablets, the rise of the digital catalog has given new life to an otherwise old medium.
It’s not just traditional retailers uploading a PDF of their paper catalogs to an app — now, e-commerce companies like Fab are looking to the digital catalog as a way to promote discovery of their products.
Fab announced Monday that it will be producing a daily “look-book” of products through Catalog Spree, a startup that lets shoppers browse digital catalogs from retailers like West Elm, Lands’ End and L.L. Bean and also creates custom “look-books” for companies that don’t have traditional paper catalogs, like One Kings Lane, Target (s TGT) and Forever 21.
Fab already has apps for the iPad (s AAPL) and the iPhone, so it’s a little surprising that the company cares about creating another browsing experience for the tablet in addition to its existing one. But as I wrote last week, Fab’s core success has come from nailing discovery. Browsing products on Fab is undeniably fun. So it’s natural seems that the company wants to keep creating new ways to browse.
A press release Monday explained how the look-books for Fab will work:
“Fab’s all-digital lookbooks allow consumers to easily flip through pages to browse, shop, share, and discover products and trends. Each Fab shopping category — furniture, home, art, vintage, jewelry, women, men, pets, food, and fun — will have its own lookbook on Catalog Spree. These daily lookbooks are the first created with Spree Studio that use a fully automated process.”
The Fab lookbooks will be available on the Catalog Spree app, which is available for download in the iTunes store.