What Sells Where?
A good example might be using your Web site best-seller reports to expand or shrink categories in your catalog. A “tried and proven” Web product becomes a great candidate for your next catalog — a lot of the risk has been removed already.
Sidney Bakke, a veteran buyer for The Smithsonian Catalogue, points out that in some instances, the Smithsonian will feature a collection of its books or licensed products on its Web site. Most likely, only three or four of the products will have sufficient online sales to make it into a future catalog.
The methodology used in Smithsonian’s decision-making process clearly is based on sales demand.
Best-seller analyses are extremely useful reports. They help take the “guesswork” out of merchandising decisions and help identify the potential of a product in a different sales venue.
These analyses should be performed several times a year, especially during the planning stages of a new catalog and prior to your company’s attendance at industry trade shows.
They can be structured to rank products by individual product category or to rank the entire product mix. They’re indispensable tools for anyone with merchandising responsibilities.
Shari Altman is president of Altman Dedicated Direct, a direct marketing consultancy specializing in acquisition, continuity, DRTV and loyalty marketing. Reach her at (336) 969-9538 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Susan Bates is senior merchandising consultant at Susan Bates Consulting and can be reached at email@example.com.