Though e-commerce makes up just a fraction of total retail sales, that fraction is steadily and rapidly increasing – online business is booming, we know this. But what you may not know is that printed catalogs are one of the most influential sources for information when making online purchases. Print catalogs are even more influential in driving online sales than some online channels.
According to Sarah Knup, head of strategy and marketing at childrenswear brand Tea Collection, “We see the catalog as more relevant as a true storytelling and brand piece… You don’t get the same feeling when you’re flipping through a PDF.” Catalogs are making a comeback, with many retailers increasing their catalog spend. Even online-only retailers are beginning to mail catalogs of their own. The investment is a wise one – research by the US Postal Service shows that online shoppers who receive a catalog piece spend 28% more than those who don’t.
Just take a look at Zappos Life. Though Zappos is an online-based retailer, per-transaction sales from its catalog are twice that of the website.
Given the avalanche of marketing messages we’re exposed to on a daily basis, it stands to reason that authentic, engaging messages are more likely to get a response. Most messages go virtually unnoticed, skimmed or purposely ignored – no one’s looking for the needle in the haystack. And why should they?
Rather than expect your customer to notice you amidst the clutter, do something that stands out… easier said than done, I know. But believe it or not, some of the most engaging messages are the simplest.
If you haven’t seen PRINTISBIG.com, take a look:
Print is an effective and important tool you should never forget… While the digital marketing space has gotten noisier and considerably less effective, print has enjoyed a renaissance of increased conversion rates and marketing return on investment. Customers actually appreciate getting a nice postcard, well-designed catalog, or personal thank you note in the mail today.
According to the stats, US advertisers can see a 1300% ROI on direct mail, and direct mail is responsible for an incredible 78% of donations for non-profits. It makes sense if you consider that 80% of households read or browse their direct mail (yes, 80%!). And according to the USPS, shoppers who receive direct mail actually spend more than those who don’t.
Cartoon by Tom Fishburne.
Brochures are possibly the most flexible and hard-working of your marketing collateral. They can help initiate a sale or close one; they can be sent in the mail or handed out face-to-face. As John Treace wrote for Inc., “One of the biggest sales I ever made was initiated in an elevator with a brochure that I happened to have in my pocket.”
To showcase a configurable furniture collection, Miller Brooks created this brochure for Kimball Office.
This brochure for TVNZ 7 (Television New Zealand) literally unfolds to form the brand’s “7” logo.
Audi’s engaging centennial piece, when ripped open, features a timeline of the brand’s history.
To celebrate Pratt Institute’s 125th anniversary, this brochure includes die-cut pop-ups of iconic artists and their designs.