What Sells Where?
You’d think that writing an article addressing methodologies to determine which products to feature on a Web site vs. a print catalog would be a no-brainer, right? Web pages are unlimited; printed pages are expensive real estate. It’s easy: Just put your best-sellers in the catalog and dump everything else you have in stock on your site. How difficult can that be?
Most Web sites feature the full assortment of products offered by a company, but exposure on a catalog page is a more deliberate decision. For Russ Gaitskill, president/CEO of the Garnet Hill home furnishings and apparel catalog, decisions for catalog products are based on potential, history and editorial agenda. Editorial agendas reflect the mission of your company and are set by management.
There’s also a methodology that can be used to analyze sales histories and illuminate a product’s potential in your catalog. Products with the greatest potential for strong sales in a catalog can be culled from your best-selling Web site products. To determine just what those products are, identify the products that contribute the following:
* greatest total dollar sales;
* greatest total unit sales; and
* greatest total gross profit margin.
A solid merchandise analysis will rank product sales all three ways. Then winners will emerge in the area where the products overlap on two or more lists. The best timing for the analysis is when a catalog cycle is 90 percent complete, and at the end of each month for Web site sales. This foolproof methodology will quickly identify suitable products to feature in other sales venues.
Compare Catalog, Web Sales
In another meaningful analysis, compare the ranked sales from your catalog to sales from your Web site. Just as you already have discovered that some products are on the top of all three lists, you’ll now see that many products will be best-sellers for both your catalog and your site.