7 out of 10 Customers Did This Before They Bought

The first of them are in the mail stream … the holiday catalogs. Some are old friends, like the outrageous Neiman Marcus fantasy catalog. Others are new entrants, like the toy catalogs from Amazon and eBay that debuted last year. 

But why catalogs in the digital age? What makes them so engaging?

“Catalogs have the space and freedom to tell a story, share a lifestyle and create desire,” writes Lois Brayfield in J. Schmid. “Haptic research proves that the ‘hands-on’ experience creates a sense of ownership, and ultimately, a strong shopping experience. When executed well, catalogs DISRUPT, DELIGHT and DRIVE response. And, according to recent research, ALL ages love receiving and browsing catalogs if they have a strong, differentiated merchandise concept and a story to tell.”

We’ve shared a lot of these facts before, so it’s no surprise we see digital brands like eBay and Amazon launching print catalogs. Customers love them, especially the important Millennial demographic.

Source: Quad/Graphics Customer Focus 2014

The beauty of modern catalogs lies in how effective they are in telling the story around those products you’re selling. When the story is right, you can turn casual shoppers into loyal customers.

“For many brands, catalogs have proven to be the No. 1 driver to websites and even their retail stores,” Brayfield continues. “Why is this? A catalog is a disruptive marketing tool, delivered into the hands of a targeted audience. Furthermore, a catalog also drives social activities, strengthening the relationship with the brand. And the best news? According to InternetRetailing, consumers who shop multiple channels will spend 82% more on each transaction than those who only shop in-store.”

The lean-back and engage experience of browsing a catalog can’t be replicated online. And the proof is in the numbers. Is a catalog right for your brand?