Profile of Success: It’s in the Bag
WHY eBAGS GOT INTO THE CATALOG BUSINESS: The site went live in 1999, but eBags didn’t mail catalogs until 2002, as a way to increase exposure.
“When you have 520 brands and 36,000 products, there are people coming to our site that may not even know that we have Tumi luggage or Michael Kors handbags or other products,” Cobb says. “So we felt the catalog was a great way to show the breadth of our assortment; to show them and display the fact that we were getting probably 20 to 40 [new] brands every quarter. The catalog is a nice way to show new brands that are coming onto the site.”
HOW eBAGS HAS TRIED TO OFFSET RISING CATALOG PRODUCTION COSTS: Last year, eBags struck a deal with Shoes.com to produce a joint catalog, with half of the book containing eBags’ bags, the other half Shoes.com’s shoes. Separate versions of the book are sent to eBags’ customers. Their catalogs’ front cover and first half are dedicated to eBags’ products; the back half contains Shoes.com’s products. The layout is reversed for catalogs sent to Shoes.com customers.
“We share in the cost of the marketing vehicle as well as our lists,” Cobb says. “Shoes.com is able to send catalogs to our best 300,000 to 400,000 customers. We have free access to Shoes.com customers.”