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Australian mobile app to replace four billion pieces of pulped wood (also known as ‘catalogues’)

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Min-i-Mags iPhone Application

An Australian smartphone application aspires to replace retail catalogues, while also helping out the environment.

Appalogues (see what they did there?), created by Brisbane company Min-i-Mags, is a smartphone application that combines old-school catalogues with new mobile technology to create a product it hopes will transform the market.

For the retail business eager to see firsthand what this mobile app malarkey is all about – without committing to building its own from scratch – Appalogues offers a new route to tech-savvy customers.

As an added bonus, entrepreneurs Jillian Manly and Belinda Taranaki believe Appalogues will ensure the shopping catalogue survives well into the 21st century by reducing its environmental impact. When you consider that Amazon’s Kindle eBooks now outsell its printed brethren – just three years after launch – they might just be onto something.

“The Appalogue is a great meeting of need, opportunity and mobile solution,” co-creator Ms Manly said.

“From the app it’s easy to share what you find with your friends and relatives through email, Facebook and Twitter so the merchant gets great advertising, social media and referral promotion, and a simple mobile channel to market.”

Shopping catalogues are currently Australia’s third largest consumer-directed advertising medium after newspapers and TV. More than four billion catalogues are handled each year by Australia Post alone. Yet this is just a drop in the ocean compared to the estimated 200 million tons of wood pulped each year to meet the needs of the developed world’s paper industry.

“Shoppers love catalogues but the industry needs to change with billions of paper catalogues discarded, unused or simply pulped.”

“While developing an app is nothing new, Appalogues are targeted to a consumer’s browsing preferences, and for merchants it opens the mobile channel to their customers directly through a 24/7, global, fun, and interactive medium.”

“This particular application might be the one that changes the business to consumer relationship forever.”

Min-i-Mags’ first Appalogue is Min-i-mags 4 Mini People, which focuses on stylish baby products. The ‘MM4MP’ Appalogue is free for users and can be downloaded directly from the iTunes App Store.

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