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:…

The Impact of the USPS Price Increase on Shippers
October 22, 2015 at 11:00 am

This is a guest post by Gordon Glazer, director of strategic partnerships and modal optimization strategies for Shipware, a parcel audit and consulting firm that helps volume parcel shippers reduce shipping costs. Gordon can be reached at gordon@shipware.com.  The USPS Board of Governors has proposed a major price increase for competitive (i.e., shipping) products to take…

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.…

Love Your Customers and They'll Reward You With Sales
September 23, 2015 at 9:38 am

“Love” may seem odd as a business concept. Love includes valuing someone as a person, trying to see things from their point of view, being considerate of their time, trying to make their life easier, working to understand and help them achieve their goals, among other things. Let's take for granted that you do all…

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…

The Next Phase of Social Media Advertising
July 21, 2015 at 2:18 pm

Six hundred billion dollars. That’s what advertisers are set to spend worldwide in 2015. Social media powerhouses Facebook and Twitter have rolled out new ways to target consumers through advertisements. But is the return on investment there for the companies that are fronting the bill? According to Gallup, 62 percent of consumers say that social…

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.…

When Science Collides With Retail: Giving the Public What They Want
May 27, 2015 at 6:52 pm

The fashion times are a-changin’. New products have an estimated failure rate of 50 percent, costing over $400 billion each year collecting dust on store shelves. With that kind of risk involved, a systematic assessment of consumer preferences should be par for the course. However, retailers are constantly struggling to determine what styles consumers are…

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.