Do You Know What Really is Driving Your Demand?
Before the advent of the Internet, catalogers could trace 80 to 85 percent of their business to a specific source or key code. They knew where the business was coming from and could make sense of the results as detailed by the source code report, and they didn’t need to match back Internet and non-traceable results to a specific code. They simply could allocate non-traceable results proportionally across all key codes.
But today, with an average 35 percent of business coming through the Internet, and the same 15 to 20 percent non-traceable factor as before, you’re lucky to trace 50 percent of your sales to a specific source code.
This month I’ll discuss the importance of understanding what really is driving today’s order/revenue demand, and I’ll consider treatment of Internet-only buyers. I’ll answer frequently asked questions surrounding Internet buyers as an important component to the multichannel catalog marketing mix.
Results Can Be Deceiving
If you’re like most catalogers, you probably have considered reducing mailings to Web-only buyers as a way to save money, because undoubtedly when you look at your source-code report, it appears these buyers perform poorly.
The results of zero-to-12-month Internet buyers (as reflected on the source-code report) often don’t look good — at least on the surface. It’s logical to assume, then, they shouldn’t be mailed a catalog, at least not as frequently as catalog buyers who fall within the same RFM housefile segments. But is this really wise?
Before you decide if Internet buyers should be mailed, have your service bureau do a matchback, a process in which your order file is “matched back” against your recent mail tapes to give credit to the proper source code. It’ll tell you where business is coming from and which key codes should be given credit for the sale — even Web orders. Matchbacks are becoming commonplace, and for good reason. They’re a necessary part of cataloging.