Special Report: More Web, More Print or Both?
Stumps Prom & Party, a cataloger of prom and party supplies, also plans to increase catalog circulation in 2008. The 81-year-old company is enjoying its best year ever, and believes increasing catalog circulation will position it for continued prosperity. “We’ll be mailing more catalogs, thereby broadening our customer base,” says Keith Bansemer, director of Internet marketing at Stumps. “It’s time to take a good, winning formula and expand it further.”
Coming off a rough few years, Lillian Vernon is hoping to drive Web sales by circulating more catalogs. Lillian Vernon will circulate 15 percent to 20 percent more catalogs next year, Muoio says.
Some B-to-B catalogers also plan to be aggressive in ’08. New Pig Corp., a marketer of oil leak and spill management products, industrial safety and plant maintenance, intends to keep circulation levels at or above where they are this year, says Executive Vice President Doug Hershey.
Print’s Role as Web-driver
The way catalog printers, such as Quebecor World, see it, the catalog serves primarily to drive consumers to the Web, says Jennifer Lukasiak, Quebecor World’s director of marketing and research. “I can think of numerous instances where a catalog client reduced circulation, only to bring it right back up due to a resulting decline in sales,” she says. “The Internet continues to be a growing preference as a transaction channel, but the catalog is clearly still a very important marketing channel in the multichannel mix.”
While plenty of catalogers plan to increase their foothold in print, Web marketing is hardly taking a backseat. Web-based ordering numbers continue to rise. Consider these examples:
◆ More than 60 percent of all transactions at Lillian Vernon come via the Web;
◆ Nearly half of Sundance’s catalog sales come from Web orders;
◆ Stumps reports it’s seen a 30 percent increase year over year in Web sales in 2007; and
◆ Although he wouldn’t specify the number of Web orders New Pig is receiving, Hershey says more B-to-B customers are buying online as well. “We’re seeing more and more people gravitate to the Web to place their orders,” he says.