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The Printed Catalog

Back In Style Again? 5 Reasons the “Printed Catalog” Is Making A Comeback

The Printed Catalog is Here to Stay

As retailers continue to explore the channels that reach their customers, the balance may switch back and forth from print to online assets to traditional in-store selling. The catalog, however, is here to stay in some capacity. It may be a little smaller and arrive in more targeted mailboxes, but it will remain a major player in profitably marketing to consumers for a long time.

#1: The Printed Catalog Still Packs a Punch

In a survey conducted by Kurt Salmon, a global management consulting firm, a mind-blowing 86% of women in the age range of 18 to 30 say they have bought an item after seeing it in a catalog. Powerful evidence like this is one of the reasons retailers are migrating back toward print catalogs as part of their marketing strategy. Catalogs engage the reader and prompt them to begin the buyer’s journey.

#2: The Printed Catalog can Bolster Internet and In-Store Sales

The use of the print catalog has evolved in the past few years. Before, consumers would choose their purchase and phone into a call center to place their order. Now, catalogs serve as the first stop on the buying train, and buyers end up purchasing online or in the store. In the same study as above, of women 18 to 30, 64% who first saw an item in a catalog ended up completing their purchase in the store, and 32% went to the retailer’s website to buy it. So, when retailers analyze the buying information as a whole, catalogs are increasing business.

#3: The Printed Catalog is Effective as a More Targeted Strategy

With stronger databases and a greater knowledge of their buyers, retailers are able to target customers much more effectively than ever. Catalogs are dispatched to buyers who have previously made online or in-store purchases.

#4: The Printed Catalog Plays Well with Other Marketing Channels

Multichannel marketing is vital to a retailer’s success, and catalogs play well in that arena. Email campaigns, online ads, and attractive websites all add an element of branding to the buying experience. The catalog now becomes one more component that leads consumers to that particular brand. Recent results from a catalog mailing campaign by menswear brand Bonobos showed 20% of first-time buyers placed their orders after receiving a catalog, and they spent 1.5 times more than first-time buyers who did not receive a catalog.

#5: The Printed Catalog Possesses Priceless Branding Power

Consumers buy from a brand, and the catalog has proved to be a powerful branding tool. It’s estimated 31% of shoppers look through a catalog even when they complete their purchase online. Leafing through a catalog brings a different shopping experience to the customer than simply browsing a website, and this feeling creates customer loyalty. The catalog provides brand recognition and product awareness that is not as readily available on the web.

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