The King Arthur Flour catalog came in the mail last week. This is always a big day in our house, and no small amount of time was spent oohing and aahing over the recipes and wondering which of the latest kitchen gadgets would make the short list this season.
I know why companies send catalogs. People like them, and they work. It’s that simple.
Simone Foxe, in her recent Quartz article, sums it up nicely, even if she gets off to a skeptical start.
“In this digital age, print catalogs may seem like a waste of paper. They clutter up our mailboxes and kitchen tables before inevitably ending up in the trash. But companies continue to send print catalogs for a simple reason: they work.”
She cites Michael Kors Holdings’ CEO John Idol as he explains his company’s reliance on the printed catalog:
“We can see what it does in terms of our in-store performance when we drop catalogs. We get a very strong spike, we also get a very strong spike to our website.”
Beyond that, it’s important to remember that digital has not replaced print as a marketing channel. It’s a multi-channel marketing game now, and consumers hear and read about their favorite brands on a range of different platforms. And catalogs are still a powerful channel.
According to Print in the Mix, “Next to online reviews, print catalogs most influenced holiday in-store purchases. Print catalogs also beat out social media and mobile for influencing both in-store and online holiday purchases.” (These stats come for Baynote’s 3rd Annual Holiday Online Shopping Survey, just one of the studies that points to catalogs remaining a crucial component to online and onsite retailing.)
For brand awareness, product engagement and sales driving mojo, printed catalogs remain a heavy hitting option for businesses.