The process for printed materials lays the groundwork for responsive shopping apps. It provides the ability for marketing and product managers to create a collaborative workflow to plan and manage campaigns—not only selecting the products for promotion but also the myriad underlying data. Page designers are provided with a pre-filled template, into which they drag-and-drop the featured products. This includes all the relevant pricing, current images, and any other relevant information. If something in a database changes, the layout is automatically updated right up the moment the piece is sent – in multiple, regional versions – to the printer.
Now, apply that “just in time” approach to digital shopping apps. For each featured product, the complex set of data and digital assets are output, not to a print format but to the cloud repository of the app. If a price changes or an image is updated, the data feeding the app is automatically updated. Unlike print, the available products are not limited to just those being featured but can be searched by the customer and tailored to their needs.
As with the printed circulars, the output retains the relevant versioning information, so an app user in Hawaii will find products and special offers available in their local store, not those available in Alaska or Maine.
Most important, the digital output also includes automatic overlays and tags that the digital app developer can use to trigger a “buy it now” event. In other words, the mobile app can not only find and display a product (and loads of useful information about it) it can also help the user locate it in the store or order it online.