Q&A: Children’s Wear Digest on Catalog Circulation Cuts and New Web Promotions
In light of the forthcoming postal rate increase, some catalogers, such as children’s apparel merchant Children’s Wear Digest, are cutting catalog circulation and adding Web-exclusive promotions. This enables them to better serve an increasingly multichannel customer base.
Tracy Schneider, vice president of marketing and operations for the Richmond, Va.-based cataloger, explains the rationale behind this decision, as well as a new promotion that shows promise for the company.
Catalog Success: What’s your take on the catalog marketing economic climate?
Tracy Schneider: We’re seeing in our business that the catalog is beginning to take a back seat to the Web site. If we’re just looking at print catalogs, that’s declining. But overall, our business will continue to grow because more people are shopping online. We’re making up for the print decline elsewhere, and I think that trend is happening throughout the industry.
CS: So you’re focusing more efforts on the Web in 2007?
TS: Yes. We cut some catalog circulation this past year, and actually did as well as we had the year before based on sales dollars. Based on that, we’ll continue cutting catalog circulation and saving on printing and postage. We’ll put that budget into things like pay-per-click search and other Web marketing. It’s not as expensive, and we see a good return as well. We’ll probably cut catalog circulation by about 6 percent in the spring and an additional 6 percent in the fall.
CS: Any Web initiatives this year?
TS: We’re planning a new offer this year. We tested it twice this past year. We’re calling it “Vendor of the Month,” a discount on one particular vendor’s merchandise for an entire month. That will only be available through our Web site, and we’ll provide, via e-mail, a promotion code to receive the discount. Each month will be a select vendor, and customers can receive a 10 percent discount on that merchandise. We’ll do that every month this year.