While there are a growing number of publishers dipping into ecommerce online, print magazines have largely remained static in their approach to shopping. But one publisher has taken the idea of magazines as a shop window to a whole new level using QR codes.

Associated Media Publishing (AMP) are the publishers of CosmopolitanHouse and Leisure and a number of other female-focused titles in South Africa.

They launched a campaign back in September 2018 which attracted a lot of industry attention; five of their titles would carry QR code covers for the October editions to kick off their ‘Ready to shop’ campaign.

The Media Voices Podcast caught up with Associated Media’s CEO Julia Raphaely this week to get an update on how the QR code campaign had been received, and why they’re transforming their magazines to enable a more transactional strategy.

Why QR codes?

To many in Europe and the US, QR codes are seen as a dated, underused technology, despite rising numbers scanning them for some purposes. But in South Africa, they’re much more widely accepted, especially as a payment solution.

“We started with a QR code because, in South Africa, that is the payment gateway that’s very well recognised,” Raphaely explained. “We partnered with a QR code technology that was powered by a bank, and we started testing it.”

The October issues were wrapped in large QR codes, which linked the readers directly to AMP’s ‘Ready to Shop’ portal, with a video clip exploring the new experience.

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