gapp awards gallery banner

Spree pioneers a South African ‘shoppable magazine’ concept

The publishing world is in a state of flux. It is changing at a rapid pace and, as a result, magazines are having to evolve in order to keep up with these changes. One of the ways in which they are doing so is through the movement into digital and the new development of a ‘shoppable magazine’.

A concept that affords customers the opportunity to shop the pages of their favourite magazine, this foray into ecommerce is aimed at bolstering dwindling advertisement revenues and, where implemented intelligently and intuitively, it has proved successful.

South Africa has not missed out on this global trend. April 2013 saw the launch of, SA’s first online shop to offer a shoppable magazine experience. As part of Media24’s ecommerce division, spree is more than just another online catalogue store. Their collection is carefully curated and styled by in-house experts and shoppers are presented with beautiful editorial fashion spreads that have been styled to inspire them, similar to that of how a magazine would. Leading magazine editors then also select and showcase their favourite items with advice on how and where to wear them, on the pages of their print publications and on their own and spree’s website.

Spree CEO, Krishna Motukuri, believes that this element of expert curation sets spree apart in the ecommerce landscape, which is becoming an increasingly competitive space in South Africa.
‘Instead of ordering full ranges from suppliers, our expert fashion team hand-selects each item on the site. Time is taken to style each garment and personal advice is written on how to wear it, and why it should be a part of your wardrobe,’ he said. ‘It’s essentially like having a personal stylist online.’ is designed to ensure that visitors to the site have a satisfying and enjoyable shopping experience. Features such as a magnified view of the fabric when you hover over the garment help you have a better idea of exactly what you are buying. In addition, the exact measurements of each garment are listed, providing customers with more than just the average ‘small, medium or large’ choice.

In comparison to the United States and the United Kingdom, shopping online for clothes is something relatively new to the South African market, and it is features like these that ease consumers into the experience. Online shoppers are offered an easy, hassle-free and fun experience that is completely safe.

Spree delivers free-of-charge in South Africa, either door to door, or door to counter, depending on where consumers are based. Their attractive free returns policy (within 30 days) is another way in which they are ensuring that they stay ahead of the pack in the SA ecommerce landscape.

The success (and failure) of shoppable magazines launched overseas have shown that, in the end, it all comes down to the reader. When the partnership between magazines and shopping is forged with the reader in mind, publishers are more likely to find that their efforts are rewarded.

Motukuri commented, ‘All items showcased on the magazine shops within spree have been hand-picked and endorsed by the magazine editors with their audience in mind.The magazine’s fashion editors use the platform to inspire their readers.’ He added, ‘Readers have developed a relationship with their favourite magazine and trust the fashion editor to provide them with trends and with insightful, relevant advice.’

If e-commerce is to be a key element in the reinvention of magazines in the digital era, it seems that spree is going about it the right way.

For more information visit

Previous Article
Next Article