Bottom line: Catalog copywriters are being forced to tighten up, particularly when they’re writing sales copy for the Web. Lengthy, romantic interludes about products can’t succeed the way they once did. Cut to the chase, give a brief description, spit out the benefits and get out of there.
2. Search: This one certainly doesn’t reflect on “ancient” times, but it’s nonetheless a significant rule change. Earlier this decade/century, the primary focus for catalogers’ evolving e-commerce businesses was on how effectively a homepage drew customers into their assorted offerings. It made perfect sense, considering how much attention catalogers have to pay to their print book covers to engage customers.
But now that most of our lives revolve around our ability to conduct searches, landing pages are far more crucial than homepages for catalogers. Fewer consumers will go to a cataloger’s homepage just to shop. They’ll more often end up there after searching for a particular product. So, you need to set up your search landing pages so you’ll successfully get them to buy when they land in your court.
3. Talent: Another more recent phenomenon, fewer catalogers seek out online experts to run their e-commerce businesses. Instead, now they need individuals with hybrid backgrounds, in marketing, e-commerce and to an extent, information technology.
In the Web’s early days, catalogers developed separate e-commerce departments. But the wise companies today have long since broken down the silos that kept catalog departments from coordinating with e-commerce departments and retail departments.
The positive of this is that these companies have their multichannel machines working effectively and efficiently, knowing at all times what each channel is doing. But there’s a negative: If you want to get get a good middle- to upper-management position with a catalog/multichannel/direct marketing company today, you’d better know how each channel works, forwards and backwards, even if you came into it only knowing about one particular channel.