Use Virtual Catalogs to Leverage Your Web Marketing, Part 1
This is part 1 of a multipart series on how virtual catalogs can be a valuable tool for marketers looking to build their online presences. This week I examine the costs of publishing a virtual catalog, as well as the features it offers. Part 2 will take a look at the metrics that need to be tracked to measure the effectiveness of virtual catalogs, as well as what those metrics can tell you and how virtual catalogs compare to “email on steroids.”
Digital catalogs have been around for a long time, but they've suddenly become a valuable tool for marketers. The technology has dropped in cost to the point where marketers are almost forced to learn how to use digital editions — not to mention the fact that they've become very user friendly, too.
Now that the technology has arrived, marketers are learning how to leverage their catalog creative and use it much more widely to generate revenue beyond traditional print.
How much does it cost to publish a virtual catalog? Prices range from $6/page to upward of $30/page; so a 52-page catalog could be as inexpensive as $312. Even an average cost from your printer to provide a virtual catalog at $20/page totals $1,040, which is peanuts compared to your total bill for printing, paper and postage.
How can the cost be so low? Vendors take the same PDF files marketers use to print their catalogs and simply convert those files into digital editions. Minimal work is required to turn those files into virtual catalogs, therefore costs have really dropped.
Printers (led by Worldcolor, Quad/Graphics and Brown Printing) have really committed themselves to building out virtual catalog solutions as part of their pre-press package of services because virtual catalogs represent a value-added service that can distinguish one printer from another. Stand-alone providers like Movado have solutions with all the bells and whistles at almost the same cost as the lowest-priced solutions from printers.