Shop Talk: 4 Tips for Driving Catalog Sales From Brick-and-Mortar Shoppers
Q: "I would love to get some advice on increasing catalog orders from retail store customers. We are a tourist-driven business and we want them to order again once they get home from vacation." — Chris Hatcher, marketing director, Savannah's Candy Kitchen
A: If you're looking to drive catalog orders post-retail, here are a few quick tips:
1. Use a bounceback. Similar to how online retailers often include promotional materials in shipments of products — e.g., Amazon.com including a discount offer on a flyer with products ordered or a catalog retailer including a copy of its print catalog in its product shipment with an offer for "returning customers" — always have your staff put a catalog or some other marketing collateral into the bag your customers take away with them.
2. Opt them in. Have an iPad (or multiple iPads) in prominent locations around your store(s) so shoppers can opt in to receiving either emails or catalogs (or both) from you. Or simply have your store associates and sales clerks ask shoppers if they'd like to give you their email address to receive messages from you — maybe you can sweeten the deal by sending them special discounts and offers. The goal here is to never let a customer or prospect leave your store without having them agree to receive further communications from you.
3. Use QR codes. In addition to their cool novelty factor, QR codes provide a convenient and easy way for consumers to access your company's promotions, resources and other information via their smartphones. That's probably why more and more smartphone users are now experimenting with them. Try using QR codes for email opt-in campaigns. Keep in mind that smartphone users scanning your QR codes are likely on the go, so asking for much more than a name and an email address may backfire.
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.