By S Riches and N Cason
Catalogues – people either love them or hate them. Most of them are unsolicited junk mail and end up in our mailboxes uninvited but often if we join a business’s loyalty program we often unknowingly end up with a catalogue inviting us to envisage how we can integrate these products into our lives.
With the growth of the internet and online retail, catalogues have not disappeared and it certainly doesn’t seem as though the volume of catalogues being produced and coming through our mailboxes has slowed down.
Catalogues in fact are seen as very effective in getting people to spend money with those who use catalogues generally spending more money compared to those who only use the internet. Data on average order sizes by customers using either the internet or catalogues shows that catalogues outperform the internet by approximately 6%. The combined use of both channels actually results in even higher sales performance. People are reading catalogues and then using the internet to place their orders.
Catalogues can not only connect customers to a product but also to the brand. Data from the United States indicates the average catalogue takes about $1 to produce and send but that the return on investment is high, bringing in approximately $2 for every prospective customer and $10 for returning customers.
It’s still a very, very important part of our marketing mix. Consumers “look through it to get ideas and inspiration. And if we do a good job, they get ideas for things they didn’t even know they wanted before they got there.”
Pat Connolly, Chief Marketing Officer – Williams-Sonoma Inc.
Flicking through a catalogue is a fairly easy, you can read it anywhere and flick through the pages without turning on a computer. You can circle products, mark pages, put it down and pick it up later on. As Iacobucci (2014) suggests, catalogues still dominate because they are beautiful and sensual.
A recent report which surveyed 300 UK businesses including B2B and B2C companies across multiple industries, found that nearly half of the businesses did not believe catalogues were required. Ian Simpson, Managing Director of Catalogues4Business (C4B), was baffled with these results and believes that printed marketing material is far from dead and is an excellent additional method for business to market their products and brands.
Personally we love a good catalogue. It’s easy to get hooked on beautiful glossy productions and we actually do find ourselves searching online after being inspired.
We’re selective though….there’s junk mail and then there’s junk mail!
Where do you sit?
Do you love or hate catalogues or are they just junk mail? Do you look through catalogues and then make purchases online or go into the store?
Alive and Kicking: Traditional Print Catalogues to Bolster Digital Sales? https://www.hiper-com.com/en/blog/2015/03/30/alive-and-kicking-traditional-print-catalogues-bolster-digital-sales/#.VU2lEWeJiUk accessed 9/5/15 Is the catalog dead? http://www.kurtsalmon.com/en-ca/Retail/vertical-insight/936/Is-the-Catalog-Dead- accessed 9/5/15
Why Online Retailers Like Bonobos, Boden, Athleta Mail So Many Catalogues. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304311204579505532568168984 accessed 9/5/15
Are catalogues in businesses outdated? http://www.retailgazette.co.uk/…/22010-are-catalogues-in-businesses-outdated accessed 16/5/15
Iacobucci, D. (2014) Marketing Management (MM) South Western, Cengage Learning, Mason, chapter 2.