5 Stories That Generated the Most Discussion in 2015
January 6, 2016 at 9:49 am

What follows is a list of the Total Retail content in 2015 that generated the most reader comments. You’ll see that our readers are highly engaged when it comes to content on shipping rates — who isn’t when it has such an impact on your bottom line — social media marketing, payment options and cooperative…

My Favorite Christmas Catalogs of 2015
December 23, 2015 at 10:03 am

There are plenty of Christmas catalogs in the mail this year — some great, some just OK, some forgettable. Here are my faves for 2015: The Folio Society "Christmas 2015 Collection" An impressive package in a large envelope with letter, three inserts and two catalogs (one just of children’s gift books). This high-end U.K. book…

Getting the Most From Your Catalog Tests
November 25, 2015 at 2:22 pm

PATIENT: “Doc, we do tests, but I don't feel that we learn much from them. What are we doing wrong? What should we change?” CATALOG DOCTOR: "Try building your tests differently to get clearer, more actionable results. Here are some tips for what to do, and what not to do.” Optimizing an Offer Test The goal:…

When You Need to Cut Even Deeper
October 22, 2015 at 10:01 am

PATIENT: “Doc, I really need to cut catalog program costs again, but without impacting sales. We've already done the standard things like lighter paper, fewer pages, operational efficiencies, and so on. What's left?” CATALOG DOCTOR: “You've done well so far. What's left isn't as easy as the standard cuts. Most require study and elbow grease.…

Sales Down? Looking for Causes? Here's a Checklist
August 21, 2015 at 12:34 pm

PATIENT: “Doc, we've recently experienced a sales drop and I don't understand why. What's the best way to track down why it happened and how to fix it?” CATALOG DOCTOR: “You're doing right to quickly dig into causes behind the sales drop. The quicker you know why, the faster you can fix things. Here's a…

Aging Audience Dying? Or Just Evolving?
July 20, 2015 at 1:49 pm

“Our audience is dying. We need to attract a younger audience to get sales back up.” I've heard this over and over for years from both consumer and business catalogers. Yet their age-range demographic reports usually show counts remaining stable, not declining. What's up? While it’s true for catalogers with older customer bases that a…

Why and How Creative Should Talk to Circulation
June 22, 2015 at 4:12 pm

Catalog creatives generally feel like they live in a different universe than circulation folks. However, both share the same catalog goals and you'll find you can achieve those goals faster and better by communicating with each other. Here are some tips on how and when to talk. Before You Begin Your Next Design Cycle 1.…

Time for a New Design or Just Bored?
May 26, 2015 at 12:43 pm

Being bored with your catalog design is a terrible reason for a redesign. Your feelings don’t count; your customers’ feelings do.

Benefit + Unique Sells
April 23, 2015

Are your catalog and products unique? Are they loaded with customer benefits? If "yes" to both, are you also telling your benefit and unique story well enough to your customers?

Where NOT to Cut Costs in Your Catalog Business
March 19, 2015

Cost cutting among catalog brands has been widespread for the past few years — and with good results. It's kept many catalogers afloat during the recent tough times, and helped build profits as well as operational disciplines. All that's swell, but beware of going to extremes and overcutting in ways that could harm. Here are four ways that, reliably for most, increase sales and return on investment, and therefore should be on your do-not-cut list: