Over the last couple of decades, retailers have increasingly turned to the Internet to sell and promote their products. And while the Internet has made it easy to quickly upload product images, descriptions, keywords, etc. it’s also now inundated with retailers grappling for consumers’ attention.
While we’re not suggesting you abandon your online efforts altogether, there is great value in using a catalog as a tool to enhance your marketing mix.
If you’re looking for a way to stand out from the virtual masses, publishing a catalog can help differentiate your business from every other online retailer.
Here’s why catalogs work:
Catalogs have a strong influence on purchasing decisions
According to the United States Postal Service (USPS), catalogs influence purchase decisions more than websites or TV ads. In fact, 72% of people surveyed said that catalogs make them more interested in that retailer’s products, and 84% have purchased an item after seeing it in a catalog.
The USPS goes on to say that neuroscience research supports the value of physical catalogs – revealing that “physical ads leave a longer lasting impact for easy recall when making a purchase decision [vs. digital]. And physical ads triggered activity in the area of the brain (ventral striatum) that is responsible for [evaluating the] value and desirability for featured products, which can signal a greater intent to purchase.”
In addition to the product and its features, consider including content on how the product was created, unique uses for the product, or profiles of customers using the product. Williams Sonoma even started including recipes in its catalogs, next to the products consumers need to cook them.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the purchaser is going to purchase straight from the catalog. What is more likely is that the catalog will drive the consumer to the Internet to complete the transaction.
In other words, print catalogs and online activity are not mutually exclusive.
According to Retail Dive, catalogs are useful in inspiring purchasers to pick up their mobile phones, tablets or laptops and do some quick shopping – even more useful than social media in this regard.
Catalogs act as the inspiration, and the Internet allows the shopper to quickly order using an online shopping cart, without having to call or fill out a paper form.
Catalogs affect different human senses than the Internet
As humans, we are greatly affected by what we can see, hear, smell, touch and taste. Because catalogs are a physical media, consumers are immediately inspired in a different way than they are online.
Certainly, shoppers can touch and smell the paper, but with advancements in augmented reality, they can also watch the pages come to life. They can snap a QR code to hear a song or watch a video.
The bottom line? Catalogs stimulate multiple senses at the same time and are more likely to illicit an emotional response.
3. Catalogs are loved by America’s Largest Living Generation
In a previous article, Marketing to the Largest Living Generation, we touted the benefits of targeting millennials with catalogs. While millennials are a very tech-oriented generation, they are also inundated with digital media. They love to receive physical media because it stands out in their high-tech lifestyle.
To reach millennials most affectively, consider collaborating with influencers and utilizing storytelling to capture attention and create an emotional bond with your brand.
In sum, catalogs provide a vastly different shopping experience for the consumer – one that is tactile and memorable. If you’re looking for a way to stand out from other online retailers, consider starting a catalog.
Need help getting started? Our team of publishing experts can help craft a print strategy that complements your marketing mix.