Is Your Catalog Marketing Strategy Out-of-Date?
Catalog shopping has been the favorite ways for U.S. consumers to buy for more than 200 years – and according to Chief Marketer, 50 percent of American shoppers still rely on catalogs. Without an effective catalog marketing plan, your business will potentially miss half of the target! In this article, DataEntryOutsourced reviews the past, present and future of catalog marketing.
Catalog Marketing Definition
What is catalog marketing? For most businesses, it can be viewed as a specialized direct marketing method that involves selling to consumers via an online or printed catalog instead of through a traditional retail venue. While retailers often offer catalog items from multiple suppliers, manufacturers typically use catalog marketing to display their products in one convenient catalog. Business and individual consumers continue to love catalog shopping because it saves valuable time – no walking or driving is required!
Catalog Marketing Advantages
A printed catalog remains popular for e-consumers in the digital age – a survey by the U.S. Postal Service revealed that 80 percent of the respondents keep a printed catalog open to refer to while doing their online shopping. Compared to buyers without a printed catalog, recipients of printed catalogs also buy 28 percent more products when shopping online.
An online catalog has its own unique advantages:
- Ability to add product-related videos – Video marketing has its own special appeal for today’s econsumers.
- Consumers can search by categories – With proper attention to ecommerce product entry, this allows buyers to find products that might not be shown together in a printed catalog.
- Enables Internet search – Especially for potential buyers without a printed catalog, effective search engine optimization (SEO) helps econsumers find your online catalog.
Catalog Marketing Strategy and Trends
Even though catalog marketing is not new, it has undergone significant changes over the years. Today’s printed catalogs are often broken up into several smaller versions that appeal to specialized niche audiences while also reducing postage expenses. Due to printing and mailing costs, companies regularly scrutinize their mailing list and often restrict distribution to past buyers.
Many consumers now do much of their shopping and buying online. Companies with a limited physical presence can use online catalogs to reach a nationwide and worldwide audience. With a comprehensive online catalog, some businesses are able to successfully operate without any physical retail locations.
Most Popular B2B and B2C Catalog Purchases
It is true that some catalog purchases are more popular than others. If your company’s products include these items, it is especially important to update and improve your catalog marketing efforts.
Does your business sell to other businesses? According to IBIS World (a research firm), here are the top three categories for B2B catalog sales:
- School and office supplies
- Computers and computer-related hardware
- Software supplies
If you sell to individual consumers, you should take note of the top three categories for B2C catalog sales:
- Health and beauty items (including pharmaceuticals)
- Jewelry, clothing and accessories
- Household goods and furniture
Benefits of Producing “Up-to-Date” Online Catalogs
Today’s buyers – both individuals and businesses – want their shopping experience to be efficient – catalog marketing offers businesses a prime opportunity to meet this key expectation. In a competitive shopping environment, a company’s printed and online catalogs often provide a critical “first impression” to potential buyers. What impression is your catalog marketing making?
Online and printed catalogs can be successfully used to educate your potential customers about what your company has to offer. At the same time, catalogs will allow you to extend your marketing reach to a worldwide audience. But all versions of your catalogs must be constantly updated to reflect current inventory and pricing.
To achieve the best sales results for your company, catalog marketing ideas must be effectively combined with the catalog data entry process. If your company already has a printed catalog, this can be easily converted to an online catalog – however, accurate product data entry is a mandatory step in the process.
If that seems like a lot for any business owner and manager to do while juggling a busy schedule, there is a practical and cost-effective strategy available to you – think about outsourcing to an expert company like DataEntryOutsourced. DEO can help businesses of all sizes as well as catalog marketing services.
What do you think about catalog marketing? Please share your thoughts and experiences by leaving a comment below and using the social media icons.