Chronicles Put the Rooster Tile Near the Chicken Towel
By Susan J. McIntyre
Secrets of successful pagination.
Pagination, deciding what products go where in your catalog, is both an art and a science. Paginating can be complex and confusing. But understanding some basic principles can help unravel the mystery.
Easy to Find = Easy to Sell
A product on your catalog's back cover is easy to find, because the customer will see it without opening the book. Let's say a product will sell 30 percent better on the back cover than on a random inside page. Which product would you prefer to get a 30 percent lift: a $1,000-revenue product or a $10,000-revenue product? Top-selling products on your back cover will maximize sales. If top-selling products should go onto easy-to-find pages, then your first spread (pages 2 and 3) always should show bestsellers, right? Not necessarily. In fact, there's no right answer.
Aunt Belle & Mrs. See's
Every Christmas Aunt Belle gave us the same sampler box of Mrs. See's chocolates. Next Christmas, when Aunt Belle got her new Mrs. See's catalog, where do you think she'd look for her "regular box"? Some easy-to-find page, like 2 or 3.
Do you have a best-selling product line (e.g., gift chocolates, support hose, toner cartridges) that generates repeat purchases? Is your audience older (or business-to-business, which often shares seniors' impatience)? Or maybe this edition of your catalog mails primarily to prospects, so you want top products pictured front and center. That first spread (or other easy-to-find pages) is a good place to showcase your perennial best-sellers. Should bestsellers always be on pages 2 and 3? Not at all.
New, New, New
Elise's catalog was beautifully merchandised with tree-themed gifts. All shared one theme, but in many styles: Renaissance-look, cartoon, contemporary, etc. Loyal cartoon-tree-loving customers buy every cartoon tree item offered, then run out of products to buy. These collectors wanted new versions.