Catalogs Take Place in Multi-Channel Strategy
While many may have thought that the advent of the internet would spell the end of catalogs, an increasing number of retailers are looking to this traditional advertising medium to help drive sales online, in stores and by phone.
Retailers including Sears and Target are mailing catalogs to consumers this holiday season. The move by Sears to publish a catalog is seen as especially significant since the company last printed one in 1993.
Mike Gatti, president of the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, told The News & Observer, “E-mail’s gotten tough because of all of the spam and all of the stuff you get. It’s tough to make it effective.
“I think some [retailers] were surprised that people would get a catalog in the mail and then just come on the website and buy it,” he said. “But it happens.”
Kirsten Whipple, a spokesperson for Sears, told the paper, “Our effort (Sears 188-page Wishbook) is really tied to the fact that all of our shoppers have different shopping habits and like to shop in different ways. Some people look at the catalog and say ‘Great, I don’t even have to go into the store.’ But we have to make sure as a retailer that we are reaching them how they would like to shop.”
Target spokesperson Jana O’Leary told The News & Observer that the retailer’s catalog drives traffic to its stores and website. “It’s just to get guests excited and have something tangible in their hands when they go,” she said.
Discussion Question: What do you think of apparent added emphasis that retailers are placing on catalogs to drive multi-channel sales? Do you see a bright future for printed catalogs or will they largely disappear as greater emphasis is placed on electronic communication vehicles?