B-to-B Cataloging: Are You Right Sized?
A word of caution: When running this sales analysis, include your Internet sales with your catalog sales. Having performed numerous matchbacks of untracked Internet orders, I believe it’s usually safe to say that between 50 percent and 80 percent of these untracked orders result from the catalog mailing.
n If you need it, keep it. Of course, big book catalogers often have built their brand identities around the concept of being the one-stop shop for all their customers’ needs. If this is your marketing position, you still can maintain these poor-selling SKUs on your Web site and prominently refer to the additional products in the appropriate category within the printed catalog. Though you won’t reduce your warehouse space, you’ll reduce your advertising.
By working through underperforming categories in this fashion, you can reduce page count by complete signatures of 32, 64 or more pages. Of course, there’s more to big book merchandise analysis. But, this simple step often is one of the most effective ways to get a handle on burgeoning page count and work toward right sizing your catalog. «
George Hague is senior marketing strategist at J. Schmid & Assoc. Inc., a catalog-consulting firm in Mission, Kan. Reach him at (913) 236-8988 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A columnist for Retail Online Integration, George founded HAGUEdirect, a marketing agency. Previously he was a member of the Shawnee Mission, Kan.-based consulting and creative agency J. Schmid & Assoc. He has more than 10 years of experience in circulation, advertising, consulting and financial strategy in the catalog/retail industry. George's expertise includes circulation strategy, mailing execution, response analysis and financial planning. Before joining J. Schmid, George worked as catalog marketing director at Dynamic Resource Group, where he was responsible for marketing and merchandising for the Annie's Attic Needlecraft catalog, the Clotilde Sewing Notions catalog, the House of White Birches Quilter's catalog and three book clubs. George also worked on corporate acquisitions.