Is Bad Economic News Affecting Your Catalog Sales?
The economic news could hardly be worse: The stock market is plummeting, consumer confidence is gone and the credit markets have frozen. That all leads us to a couple of questions that catalog/multichannel marketers need to ask themselves: One, can you measure how the economic gloom is affecting your catalog sales? And two, can you get an early read on your holiday sales?
First, track the metric of your daily catalog sales. Compare sales for this year vs. last year on a daily basis for August, September and October. Are your Monday-to-Monday daily sales the same as last year, or are you seeing a drop-off? Are your monthly sales for August, September and October keeping pace with last year? Are they keeping pace with your budget? Looking at the daily and weekly actual sales, comparing year over year, shows if you have softness and when the softness started.
Develop a comparison worksheet for daily sales. (Click on the chart in the top right position at the bottom of the page for an example.)
Always compare daily sales Monday to Monday so your best selling days line up year over year.
Compare your monthly sales to last year’s monthly sales and to your budget to see how you’re doing compared to last year and to your plan. (Click on the chart in the top left position at the bottom of the page for an example.)
Catalogers see a wide variation in reaction to the economic news. Some remain on budget. Others see softness across all their merchandise categories. And some see big-ticket sales vary much more than lower-ticket purchases. Drill down into your data to get a clear picture of how your sales are performing.
Look closely at your sales from customers vs. sales from prospects. Your customers may be responding well, while response from prospects may be where you’re falling off. A good metric to look at is zero- to 12-month customers because it’s easy to compare their performance against the performance of the same segment from the prior year. (Click on the chart in the bottom row position at the bottom of the page for an example.)