The digital age is here, and with it comes new digital platforms to browse, shop and purchase. We’ve welcomed e-commerce into our lives with open arms. The web has taken over how we approach retailers too and so it seems an age away from past generations of people flicking through catalogues to choose their Christmas presents. But does this mean catalogues have no use for businesses today? Not necessarily.
DLM, leaflet distribution specialists, have investigated whether catalogues are still effective for businesses. Here’s a look at their findings…
Catalogues as a marketing method
Whilst businesses are aware of the continuous growth of the internet and the importance of utilising digital methods, a survey conducted by Catalogues4Business revealed that over 100 UK businesses still consider catalogues as an important marketing method.
Out of the businesses which considered the method as important, all had experience in using the method themselves. 70% had had a business catalogue for over five years, and 54% had their catalogues for over 10 years. 27% also said the product was essential to their business.
38% of companies surveyed stated that the use of catalogues ‘will be more important in the coming year’; 17% said that it will be ‘crucial’. Some companies believe the method is useful for building a brand’s reputation.
Customers attitudes towards catalogues
It was revealed in a survey reported by Forbes in 2013 that customers preferred a printed magazine instead of an online version – 95% in fact. And why is this? According to Forbes, printed material gives users something tactile to touch, and flicking through a catalogue is a very tangible process.
In the Catalogues4Business survey, customers respond to catalogues as part of their strategy, with catalogues having the power to drive sales: 59% of their sales had been directly attributed to a catalogue, and they have driven a 29% uplift in web sales.
Another factor which appeals to a customer is that some businesses offer credit so that customers can pay for products in instalments. There are a number of catalogue businesses that do offer credit – including fashion brands such as Simply Be and Boden, and multi-faceted department stores such as Matalan and John Lewis.
What about digital catalogues?
Catalogues have taken on a digital presence too. Digital catalogues also offer a new way for people to place orders from catalogues. This is because people can browse through them using a variety of media and place their order online – something that couldn’t be done 20 years ago.
How do catalogues works?
So it seems that catalogue marketing, namely direct marketing, is still a popular method used by businesses.
It is a method that is not only utilised and favoured by consumers, but also B2B. In these cases, businesses can syndicate their range of products directly to their buyers.
By using a combination of printed catalogues and digital catalogues, you can still adapt to the growth of digital technologies while utilising traditional marketing methods too. Design your products for your customers first, consulting with specialist designers to make sure products are showcased in the best way.
Catalogues can be distributed in a number of ways: through the post in direct mail form, integrated into your website, emailed as a version to suppliers and given to sales people for something physical to go into meetings with.