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Home Decor Retailer Gives Catalog Lovers Digital Gratification With Launch Of Ballard+™

New App Enhances Print Experience with Digital Interaction, Tap-to-Purchase Features

ATLANTA, Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ballard Designs, Inc.® (www.ballarddesigns.com), a premier retailer for European-inspired home furnishings and accessories, is injecting a brand-new digital component into their print catalog with the launch of Ballard+™. The latest example of Ballard Designs' ongoing digital transformation of its traditional catalog business, this innovative app browses and shops the catalog along with the user via image recognition technology and provides the user with a digital experience straight from the pages of the catalog.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121212/SF28618LOGO)

Ballard+ will feature tap-to-buy shopping, product details and reviews, multiple image viewer and social sharing. Shoppers will hold their iPhone or iPad above the page of the catalog to activate the app and instantly connect to the highly engaging digital experience. A box will encompass each item on the page and users simply tap the item in the box for desired information. This catalog companion creates a straightforward purchasing experience with the touch of the purchase button – items in the shopping cart will be immediately directed to ballarddesigns.com for check-out.

"Our customers not only look to the Ballard catalog for home decor and accessories, but also for design inspiration and ideas. The Ballard+ app enhances the experience of flipping through the catalog each month by simply integrating a mobile or tablet device," says Ryan McKelvey, President of Ballard Designs. "Having the functionality of our online channels directly available with our print catalog creates an ease-of-use that will provide an innovative, digital experience for our customers."

Ballard+ will be available for select iOS devices and is compatible with iPhone 4/4S and 5, as well as iPad2, iPad with Retina display and iPad mini. The free app will work with the Ballard Designs December 2012 Early Winter issue, with more to be added in the future, and will require a data plan or WiFi connection for use.

"Ballard+ blends the branding, scale and impact of Ballard Design's print channels with the instant gratification and seamless path to purchase of mobile commerce," explained Beck Besecker, CEO of Marxent Labs. "Powered by VisualCommerce™, Ballard+ has enabled the first 'tap-tap-buy' solution for catalogs."

For more information, visit www.ballarddesigns.com/featured/ballardplus.

About Ballard Designs:

Ballard Designs is one of the premier multi-channel sources for European-inspired home furnishings and accents. A full-color catalog is published monthly, and over 50 million are circulated around the country each year. Ballard Designs was founded in 1983 by Helen Ballard Weeks. The brand offers a unique combination of exclusive products, trusted design expertise and competitively priced, classically inspired home furnishings.  In 1997, Ballard Designs joined forces with Cornerstone Brands, one of the largest direct marketing companies in the United States. In 2008, Ballard Designs became part of HSN, Inc. (Nasdaq: HSNI) under the Cornerstone Brands umbrella. Ballard Designs' corporate headquarters are located in Atlanta, GA.

About VisualCommerce™ and Marxent Labs:

VisualCommerce™ is a software service from Marxent Labs LLC that leverages Augmented Reality and mobile image recognition to connect print catalogs with consumer mobile devices.  VisualCommerce™ enables catalog retailers to blend the seamless path to purchase and measurement of mobile commerce with the proven success of print.  With VisualCommerce™, shoppers enjoy a print catalog browsing experience enhanced with product reviews, a favorites list and the ability to add items to their cart without entering product codes. Marxent Labs has offices in Dayton, Ohio and St. Petersburg, Florida. The company is backed by Detroit Venture Partners and Stage 1 Ventures. To learn more, visit marxentlabs.com or visualcommerce.com.  

SOURCE Marxent Labs

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