Catalog Spree Makes iPad Shopping Dangerously Easy

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Miffed about all those catalogs cramming your mailbox daily? Here’s their commercial raison d’etre: Catalogs are the top revenue driver for retailers in the US, driving somewhere between 45-65% of all sales. No wonder, then, that between 18 and 20 billion catalogs are mailed annually (the average US household gets in the region of 200 per year), or that catalogs are responsible for 5% of all annual paper usage in the country.

No surprise, then, that someone’s gone and launched an app to bring the catalog industry to your mobile.

Launching today, Padopolis’ Catalog Spree takes the best of the catalog experience and adds some social network and e-commerce touches. The free app allows users to browse or subscribe to catalogs from partners like Nordstrom, Artful Home and Dwell Studio, with options available to buy items in-app, share items on Facebook, or “favorite” items to receive alerts on future sales or price reductions.

According to CEO Joaquin Ruiz, the additional features in the app – which has been in the works for almost a year and was inspired, in part, by the usability of ComiXology’s work on the Marvel Comics app – aren’t the only reason retailers are agreeing to be featured in it:

Catalog Spree offers huge augmentation for the retailer. Catalogs are a massive industry, but one of the biggest reasons retailers are participating in the iPad’s 1st multi-vendor catalog app is to discover new customers. Customers can not only look at their favorite catalogs, but find new catalogs and retailers offering similar product.

Today’s launch is jus the start for Catalog Spree, Ruiz explains, saying that there’s “so much more to do” in terms of incorporating new features into the experience and adding new retailers and catalogs. As much as I like the look of the app, I have to admit I’m concerned my bank balance could suffer substantially with this new, friendlier angle on catalog shopping.

The app and all catalogs are already available for free through iTunes.

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