MagMaker Spotlight: Erin Neer, Retail Guru

From her home in North Carolina, MagMaker Erin Neer tracks retail trends in her Future of Shopping magazine. It's an eye-opening guide to the changes that are reshaping both merchandising and the consumer experience, so we asked Erin to tell us how her magazine has influenced her thinking about where the retail world is headed:

What inspired you to create your magazine?

I work for a large retailer, and I love to shop. I noticed there was no good place for me to go and learn about what is going on, either as a consumer or as a retailer. So I decided to use Flipboard to create my own magazine about the topic.

So what does the future of shopping look like?

It’s going to be unlike anything we’ve seen before, because retail has been turned on its head. In the future, shopping will be more personalized, and more fun. The customer will really be at the center of retail experience.

Is that really new? Hasn’t the customer always been king — or queen? What will be different?

Historically, when retailers said the customer is king, they were talking about setting prices, or honoring sales or coupons or deciding where to open stores. Going forward, the customer will play an even more important role in determining what products you actually sell in your stores. What will be on the shelves, or online? How do you distribute ads or marketing materials? How does the customer want to be spoken to, and what kind of content do they engage with most readily? Retailers are going to have to understand all that.

When you curate your magazine, do you have a specific kind of reader in mind?

It started out selfishly — just creating a reading list for me. But then my magazine started attracting readers, and I realized I wasn’t the only one who finds this interesting. That’s changed the way I curate, because it means it’s less about whether or not I actually agree with an article and more about whether readers might benefit from reading it.

Where do you go to find articles for your magazine? Do you have any favorite tools or tricks?

Quite honestly, I do love using Flipboard. I read the  Fast Company Co.Create and Harvard Business Review feeds regularly. If I’m on the web, I use the +Flip It bookmarklet to add things to my magazines. I also read several other MagMaker-created magazines, including Retail Insights, Retail News Network, Trending in IT, and Digital U.

Read The Future of Shopping, by Erin Neer

Flipboard for You
On Flipboard, you can collect and save articles, photos, audio and video from anywhere by organizing them into beautiful magazines. These can be private, or you can make them public and share them with your friends and followers. Curate around everything from world events to personal passions, creating lookbooks, cookbooks and beyond. The possibilities are endless.
For Entertainers

Engage your fanbase with the pictures and videos that they love, and encourage them to create their own magazines based on their favorite memories of you, your band or team. Flipboard is a place where you can break news, interact with fans, showcase your interests and take people inside your creative process.

Learn more on Inside Flipboard.

"I am a huge, huge Flipboard fan, and have been since day one. That is why I jumped at making a Flipboard magazine for our group the day that capability was released. You have made it so easy to gather all of our social media, web site and other sources into a single platform that is so user friendly. Our fans love it and we love it for how easy it is to make an amazing Flipboard magazine presentation."

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Flipboard gives tools to journalists tracking current events and breaking news or creating their own. Customize it with all your essential sources, including a magazine-style view of your social media feeds, hashtags and search terms. Quickly scan through headlines and save items to read later. Create magazines to showcase your clips or build up a channel around your beat or other interests. Expand your reach by curating current events magazines that include archived content and colleagues' topical articles while reaching a new audience of mobile readers.

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"Flipboard helps me organise and display content I have created for different media outlets in one easy location. The best part is it's easily integrated into my own magazine with no effort, and it looks fantastic. I can see it becoming a good reference point for people's journalistic endeavours"

- Stephen Cox of The Berrics and The Deaf Lens

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Anyone who's politically active—from community organizers to outright politicians—can use Flipboard to educate themselves and their constituents and communicate important ideas. A magazine can showcase a position or a personal interest; it can be hyper-local or focused on national and global issues. Ask constituents a question and showcase their best responses in a unique and sharable format.

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"Flipboard allows me not only to provide a digital resource to those who share an interest in women and politics, but I learn from my readers' magazines to see what articles they have flipped. In that way, it is a valuable networking tool."

- Dr. Kristi Winters, Co-convenor of the Women and Politics Specialist Group

For Educators

Whether the subject is english, music or higher education, Flipboard offers educators an easy way to create and share resource materials, reading lists, educational videos and lectures, and much more. Students can be editors, too, by creating magazines around subjects they’re studying or by giving their school newspaper a versatile new form.

Learn more on Inside Flipboard and watch this demonstration from a Flipboard reader. 

"The magazine has been reinvented. Anyone with an iPad or computer can create a professional magazine on epaper using the Flipboard app. I use it because it is easy. It lets me pull info in from tumblr, twitter, Facebook and RSS into a simple dashboard. It is just that - a dash! I have so little time but Flipboard makes it easy to stay informed and share with others."

- Vicki Davis: Teacher, co-founder of the Flat Classroom Projects, and Author of Flattening Classrooms, Expanding Minds: Move to Global Collaboration One Step at a Time

For Sports Fans

Fans can show off their deep sports knowledge, or even just their team spirit, by creating magazines dedicated to favorite sports, team's players, events, moments…anything is fair game. Readers can "cheer" by liking, commenting and reflipping posts into their own magazines.

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Any business, organization or individual can create a magazine dedicated to a company, client, industry, product or event. For example, you could curate a magazine around a new product, flipping in behind-the-scenes perspectives along with positive coverage and helpful tips. You could then share the magazine out to the social following you already worked so hard to build.

Learn more on Inside Flipboard.

"Working in healthcare, news coverage can be dry and difficult to consume. With Flipboard I have the ability to curate and blend user, brand, and industry content into one cohesive magazine that allows for an encompassing and enjoyable experience for the reader.  I also value the freedom of adding articles that highlight my personal interest while still maintaining a close connection to my brand. For example, I love food and work in the Dental industry, so it’s only natural that I flipped an article about “Foods for Healthier Teeth”. I believe it’s this transparency and ability to truly build and blend your own brand magazine that attracts Flipboard’s readers and users."

- Alexis Goodrich, General Manger, Best Dentist Guide

For Nonprofits and Cause Champions

For people with Big Ideas who are intent on changing the world, Flipboard can be an attractive “megaphone” for showcasing some of the most important issues of our day. Whether your cause is heart health, energy or clean water, a magazine can illuminate its history, relevant news and calls to action. Readers can then help generate awareness and echo the message by sharing individual articles or the whole magazine.

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"Our mission is to save hearts. Flipboard is a fantastic and fun platform to share stories about how to lead a heart healthy life. Whether it's highlighting a recipe or celebrating a community activist, we hope the magazines shine a light on how to be a heart star."

- Larry King, founder of Larry King Cardiac Foundation.

Flipboard for Travelers and Adventure Seekers

Whether you've got a trip coming up, are just dreaming about all the places you'd like to go or you work in the industry, a magazine can be an ideabook of important things to see and do. While traveling, you can reference the magazine as you would a guide book, and when you return, you can package up your photos, social media updates and more into a retrospective magazine to share with friends and family.

Learn more on Inside Flipboard.

"Flipboard is my one-stop shop for all the important news I need to read on a daily basis, easily broken down for me by category of interest (travel, business, style, technology, health) and I LOVE that I can so easily share content I love to my social media channels and my own “Elite Travel Style” digital magazine!"

- Stacy Small, Owner/Founder Elite Travel International

Flipboard For Photographers and Photography Lovers

Most photos already look irresistible on platforms like Instagram, Flickr and 500px, but on Flipboard they come together to form luscious visual magazines. Amateur and professional photographers use Flipboard to share tips and their own work, and to collaborate with others. Anyone can create a thematic album or simply enjoy gorgeous photography collections.

Learn more on Inside Flipboard. 

"I think Flipboard is the best app to keep you informed about photography on a daily basis. It is fast, it is simple, it is visual, and it lets you maintain and consume the sources of information that you care most about. As a content curator, I love Flipboard because it allows me to share relevant information quickly and easily. If it wasn't for Flipboard, my job would be much harder."

- Klauss Herrmann of farbspiel photography

Flipboard For Corporate Teams

Corporate teams can streamline internal and external communications with easy-to-read, informative magazines that keep employees, clients and customers abreast of company and industry news.

Learn more on Inside Flipboard

"My mission is to spread knowledge and ideas about innovation and the digital environment so we can provide value to customers in a transforming retail world. My organization spreads across 26 countries and 49 states- working in an office, on the sales floor, and out on the field.  Flipboard allows me to share information with everyone anywhere and anytime.  Our teams love it and it's helping us drive true change and spark thoughtful dialogue!"

- Daniel Phan, Multichannel Consultant, Target Corporation

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