Catalogs Are Cool Again
The growth of digital media and e-commerce was forecast by many experts to be the death knell of the catalog. Why would consumers take the time to flip through the pages of a catalog to see a retailer's products when they could just go online and do the same thing — in significantly less time — they argued. (Not to mention the expense for retailers mailing catalogs, from paper to printing to postage costs.)
And for a while catalogs did seem to be quietly going away. Circulation rates plummeted during the Great Recession as retailers sought to trim costs wherever possible. With that decrease in circulation also came a drop in response rates.
Yet a funny thing has happened as the economy has stabilized and postage rates have become less onerous: catalogs have become popular again. J.C. Penney has made the decision to bring back its catalog after a five-year hiatus. Formerly online-only brands such as Bonobos, Boden and Athleta are all now mailing catalogs. And traditional catalog brands are increasing their circulations.
In a session during next week's Retail Marketing Virtual (RMV) Conference & Expo, a panel of catalog experts will discuss the rebirth of the channel as well as how their brands are incorporating catalogs into an omnichannel marketing mix. Brian Huck, president and COO of Eastwood; Jim Garlow, director of marketing operations at CDW; and Kim Hansen, senior vice president of marketing and e-commerce at Winston Brands (parent company of Collections Etc.) are going to share how catalogs can still be used effectively — i.e., profitably — in today's digital world as well as what the future entails for print as a marketing vehicle.
Register for RMV today and get access to this valuable content, as well as other sessions from leading retailers on topics ranging from customer service to international commerce to mobile and more!