8 Design Tips to Spur Catalog Sales
As a presenter at the Direct Marketing Association's Catalog on the Road Conference held in Cambridge, Mass., earlier this month, I provided the audience with eight creative tips to help grow sales during this most difficult selling environment. Here's a look at my “eight quick fixes”:
1. Focus on salesmanship and ease of shopping. There's a big difference between showing people an item and waiting to see if they want to buy it, to actively explaining the benefits, making claims about its quality, assuring them that they've made the right decision and making it easy for them to pay for it.
2. Your callouts and icons should be benefit-focused and fully explained. Over time, the tyranny of limited space exacts a heavy toll on icons and callouts. Go through your catalog to make sure these are fully explained and help guide customers into making the right purchases. If they're not easy to understand or there are too many of them, it's likely they're just confusing and act as barriers to customer purchases.
3. Use the magic words “Free,” “Save,” “Sale,” “New,” but don’t overdo it. Resist the urge to plaster “SAVE! SAVE! SAVE!” all over the page, but do look for ways to leverage this and other magic words. Tactics to consider include free shipping, shipping upgrades or free returns; save when you buy more; buy online (to save) or tell a friend; as well as to plug a winter sale, a secret sale, a preferred customer sale or inventory clearance sale. You also can call out new products on covers, add icons to all new items and run a “new products” section in the front of the catalog.
4. Call out best-sellers. Customers genuinely value knowing which items others have chosen. It's easy and effective to add “Best-Seller” icons to the top products in each category.