Cosmopolitan and Seventeen readers are getting a new way to shop those glossy looks: Hearst Magazines unveiled a deal Thursday to place Amazon SmileCodes in its pages so consumers can immediately buy items featured in the magazines.
SmileCodes, which get their name from the e-commerce giant’s arrow logo, are a branded version of QR codes that link to sales pages, promotions, videos and other content. They’ve been in pilot tests in Europe, but the Hearst deal marks their official debut in the U.S.
The publisher plans to place them alongside select items so users can scan the codes from the Amazon app and go straight to the product pages in the online marketplace.
The codes eliminate the need to type product or brand names into a web search. But if people would rather skip them, they can go straight to Amazon and visit Cosmo and Seventeen’s existing stores. The magazines are also launching a new “See, Love, Shop!” storefront that, Hearst said, would be updated each month as the publications feature new products.
“Amazon offers a wide selection of products, fast and free shipping options and low prices, and by teaming up we will be providing Cosmopolitan and Seventeen readers the opportunity to ‘see, love, and shop’ the products our editors showcase and they covet,” said Donna Kalajian Lagani, senior vice president/publishing director of Cosmopolitan and Seventeen. “We are using the latest technology to create a new instant and interactive experience moving our readers down the purchase funnel.”
The items will come from various categories, such as beauty, fashion and accessories, wellness, food, adult games and toys and books. Brand partners include Olay, Neutrogena, Herbal Essences and Cover Girl, among others.
“Cosmopolitan has never been afraid to lead the way when it comes to speaking to women and challenging the status quo,” said Stephanie Robertson, Olay’s brand director. “This is one reason that Olay and Cosmopolitan have been partners for so long.”
Although brand partners will contribute content and ads with the Amazon codes, the publisher pointed out that featured products will be selected by the magazines’ editorial teams. In addition, the magazines will post shoppable “listicles,” short for list-style articles, on their web sites and promote certain ones via Instagram Stories, Pinterest boards and Twitter polls.
Amazon also pledged to promote See, Love, Shop! — naturally, since the campaign also drives sales on its site and highlights its SmileCodes.
“Magazines, like Cosmopolitan and Seventeen, inspire people to try new things and improve their routines,” said Piers Heaton-Armstrong, Amazon’s vice president of affiliate marketing, “and now readers can open their favorite magazine, see a product they love, and buy it quickly and easily through the Amazon App.”
The Amazon app already supports SmileCode scanning, and Cosmopolitan and Seventeen will start publishing the codes in the March issues for U.S. readers. The March issue of Cosmopolitan goes out on Tuesday, and the March/April issue of Seventeen hits newsstands a week later, on Feb. 13.