Print Catalog: Best Ways to Use Your Print Catalog to Drive Online Sales
Many online businesses have become successful without using catalogs. But they also find that they’re only reaching a certain audience and demographic — those people that are Web savvy and already shop online.
They’re missing potential customers who might still worry about shopping online or those who are unaware of their products and Web offers. To build your online business, consider these ways to make the most of your print catalog to drive online sales.
* Offer multiple ways to place orders. The obvious goal of the catalog is to drive traffic and ultimately increase your conversion rate. So it’s paramount that customers immediately go online to purchase items they saw in the catalog. One way to achieve this goal and reinforce the positive buying experience is to let customers know that while online ordering is the most convenient way, they can still use your 800 number to order.
This gives customers a sense that even though they’re ordering from an online business, a real person will be available for help placing orders or to answer product questions. It helps ease the transition to online buying for Web newcomers. It also helps make your business tangible to the customer because prospects may view online-only businesses as nebulous.
* Eliminate the catalog order form. Making things easy also means eliminating one of the tried and true methods of cataloging: the order form. With the advent of online shopping, this is quickly becoming extinct. It’s an added expense and if the majority of your business is done online, you should strongly consider getting rid of it.
* Tease to more online offerings. If you’re not showcasing your entire product line in print, tell catalog readers often within the pages of the book that there’s more to see on your Web site.
* Reinforce the Web address and phone. Print the Web site’s addressyou’re your toll-free number on every page of the catalog so customers don’t have to go searching for it.
* Be consistent. Make sure every offer and product that you have in your catalog — including promotions, special sales and unique items — is reflected exactly the same on your Web site. Nothing will get a customer or, perhaps even more importantly, a potential customer, to surf away from your site faster than seeing a price in your catalog that isn’t the same on the Web site. People will feel you were disingenuous in your attempt to acquire them as customers, and the one chance you might have had to make a sale will be lost.
Jennifer Yarborough is a senior marketing manager in charge of VistaPrint’s quarterly catalog. VistaPrint is an online supplier of graphic design services and customized printed products to small businesses and consumers. You can reach her at email@example.com.