Print media is an industry that has recently suffered and there are no signs of reversal. According to IBISWorld, revenue is expected to decline at a rate of 2.4 percent in 2014. The number of commercial printers declined at a rate of 3.2 percent the previous five years, with the number of employees declining 4.2 percent over that same time frame.
Although print is clearly declining as a preferred method of publication, many still like the look and feel of printed material, and have attempted to simulate this behavior online. Sites that sell online may have a list of products they call a ‘catalog’, but these are really basic web pages with pictures of products arranged in a table.
None of them give that same shopping experience as those bulky, glossy catalogs with professional-quality photographs that used to send many a postal carrier to the chiropractor each December. It’s why companies like Catalog Spree are doing well offering online catalogs for big name retailers like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. Shoppers have re-discovered that catalog experience they missed for so long.
FlipHTML5 is having similar success with its platform that makes it easy to produce online flipbooks. Any PDF or word document can be converted into an online flipbook. It’s a great way for a company that has printed many of those publications to quickly get them in an online format without doing extensive conversion to HTML.
One of the company’s most recent publications is an attractive flipbook promoting the Apple (News - Alert) iPhone 6 and iWatch. It has the look and feel of a professionally produced glossy brochure and even has one page with links to order the items. The books use a combination of HTML5, jQuery and CSS3 and while they appear as books, still offer the functionality of a web page and are SEO capable. IBM (News - Alert), Waste Management, Nike and Colliers are a few of several companies using FlipHTML5 for publication.
Technology is often such that it completely changes the way something is done. We aren’t making punch card machines that are 100 times faster than they were in 1960 to run computer programs. Revolutionary advances change the way something is done instead of doing the old way faster or better.
One interesting exception however, is the online version of a printed book. Technology took away the experience of browsing catalogs and glossy promotional materials, but now it has brought back that experience, albeit through a touchscreen or monitor. High-tech has been used to develop a low-tech interface and users couldn’t be happier.
Edited by Maurice Nagle