Earlier this week Grazia launched a new weekly iPad edition, featuring a shopping facility so readers can buy the products they see on screen.

Available through Apple’s Newsstand, the iPad edition costs £1.99 each week and features all the editorial content from the print magazine.

But it’s the shopping feature that is particularly interesting, as it shows that Grazia’s publisher Bauer Media is trying to find new ways of monetising its digital content.

Running an affiliate programme through the iPad edition could prove to be a decent revenue stream for magazines that have seen circulations and profits nosedive in recent years.

Boots has been touted as one of the headline launch partners, but you can also buy products from the likes of Net-A-Porter, Austique and Designers Guild. 

It sounds like a good idea, so I downloaded the iPad edition to try it out…

How does it work?

The shopping process is very simple and there’s even a tutorial at the front of the magazine explaining exactly how to use it.

Grazia has signposted it well using large, yellow ‘Shop this page’ calls-to-action to indicate which articles are part of the new feature. 

If you click an item then a new menu appears on the screen listing all the products available on the page. In fact the menu appears even if you tap a blank part of the screen.

                    

Once you’ve re-selected the item, you have to choose whether you want to shop, share it through social channels or save it your wish list.

If you choose to shop the item you are linked out to one of the partnering e-commerce sites, then to get back to the app you simply click the ‘Done’ button in the top right of the screen.

Is it any good?

The shopping feature is extremely simple to use and a great addition to the iPad magazine, but personally I don’t feel it is intuitive enough.

If you’ve clicked an item you want to buy it’s strange to then have to re-select it from another product list.

Ideally images should link directly to a product page, as at the moment all it does is duplicate the magazine page in a more traditional list format.

                    

Also, one of the products I selected linked to a page that said the item wasn’t available to buy online, which rather defeats the purpose of the new app.

To be honest I’m surprised it’s taken this long for Grazia to implement click-to-buy tags, as it’s a common feature in Net-A-Porter’s apps.

But even so, it will be interesting to see how readers engage with the shopping feature and whether it proves to be a money-spinner for Bauer Media.