[responsive][/responsive]Why do retailers still bother to print and mail catalogs? Because, quite simply, they work…to the tune of about $850 per person in the U.S. according to new research from FGI.
“You’d think online retail would’ve killed catalogs,” says Gigi Douban in MarketPlace. Yet according to Paul Miller of the American Catalog Mailers Association, “catalog companies are still vibrant businesses.”
Douban quotes Miller as saying that, in spite of postage hikes, cyber shopping and the recession, “catalogs offer something to retailers that the internet can’t: customer loyalty.”
The research bears this out.
“Catalogs are considered far more useful than many other types of unsolicited mail,” says Karan Kennedy Davis, author of the FGI report.
“In fact, two-thirds of the catalogs received by consumers are being opened and read. Nearly all consumers who receive catalogs have made a purchase from a company whose catalog they receive in the mail, with half doing so within the past month,” the study notes.
“The most used and preferred method for consumers to make these purchases is to review the catalog and then make a purchase through the company’s website,” the report continues.
And this is exactly why many companies are firmly committed to publishing print catalogs: print catalogs work to drive both new sales and build repeat business.
Ironically, we can thank high-tech solutions for making traditional print catalogs more important effective.
“Companies have gotten smarter about getting their catalogs into the right hands with the help of huge databases containing all sorts of info on millions of households,” notes Douban.
“Database companies track a lot about our lifestyles. If someone moves, furniture catalogs start appearing. They know who buys office supplies in bulk, and who’s developing a taste for wine. It’s really specific.”
It’s exactly this specificity and personalization that makes the catalog experience ever more relevant to customers and more important to a company’s overall marketing strategy.