Research from Adobe and Harris Interactive indicates that mobile retail apps, in particular, may affect the relationship for the better. According to the December study, two-fifths of smartphone and tablet shoppers said using a shopping app strengthened their connection to the brand. And roughly the same number became more favorable toward the brand after using a shopping app.
I guess we're just not as advanced as we think we are. Or, the more things change, the more they stay the same. In last month's Christmas shopping season, paper catalogs influenced more holiday shopping than Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and mobile advertising platforms. And that's not just for brick-and-mortar stores, that's for online shopping too. Flyers and catalogs influenced 22 percent of online purchases and just slightly less, 21 percent, of offline purchases, according to a 1,000-participant study by Baynote, a customer experience solutions company.
In today's digital-driven shopping world, at least one tried-and-true retail shopping channel, the print catalog, retains a vital role for consumers and companies that continue to mail catalogs. And as we enter the holiday shopping season, consumers are eagerly perusing catalogs as an integral part of the gift-buying process. According to a new survey commissioned by the American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA), 66 percent of consumers say they peruse the catalogs they receive; in comparison, according to other studies, consumers look at just 42 percent of all advertising mail they receive.
U.S. fashion label Michael Kors is kicking off its holiday marketing efforts through a continuous email campaign that offers recipients a click-to-purchase digital catalog or a printout shopping list to bring in-store. The holiday emails were sent to Michael Kors’ subscriber list last week. While one message linked to a magazine-style version of its holiday catalog, a subsequent email included a personalized note from the brand, a list of nearby stores and a printout gift list.
Groupon announced free shipping and free returns on Groupon Goods, as well as a new toy catalog and holiday catalog. "Groupon Goods has just come off a successful first year with over 4.3 million customers as of September 2012 and an annual run rate of nearly $1.5 billion in global billings and nearly $500 million in revenues shortly after its one-year anniversary in September," a spokesperson for the company told WebProNews.
It is unlikely that Ikea could alert shoppers to its increasing digital presence by changing its name to iKea, trademark laws being what they are. Perhaps the next best thing is what the Ikea United States division plans to announce on Monday: an initiative centered on what executives call their first interactive seasonal catalog.
E-commerce retailer One Kings Lane is one of the first flash-sale sites to partner with a digital catalog company — in this case, Catalog Spree — to let shoppers browse on both the iPad and web. This is also Catalog Spree's first deal with a nontraditional retailer, the company says. Typically, the startup works with brands and retailers like Nordstrom, Eddie Bauer, West Elm, Macy's, Patagonia and hundreds of others, aggregating and organizing their content into one app.
Just in time for holiday shopping to start, Google has made its stable of retail catalogs available for browsing on the web. It was just over a year ago that the company introduced Google Catalogs for iPad, giving users a way to shop at popular retailers directly from their tablet. An Android app followed. The company is now bringing that experience to the web, offering more than 300 catalogs including Williams-Sonoma, J.Crew and Eddie Bauer. Users can browse alphabetically or by category. Inside a catalog, clicking "view details" on items will take you to the retailer's site to make a purchase.
Ikea is being criticized for deleting images of women from the Saudi version of its furniture catalog, a move the company says it regrets. Comparing the Swedish and Saudi versions of the Ikea catalog, Sweden's free newspaper Metro on Monday showed that women had been airbrushed out of otherwise identical pictures showcasing the company's home furnishings. The report raised questions in Sweden about Ikea's commitment to gender equality. The country's Trade Minister Ewa Bjorling didn't criticize Ikea directly but told Metro that you can't delete women from society.
This week's top article of the week (as determined by our readers’ clickthroughs) deals with a topic that seems cross-channel retailers, and specifically those that mail print catalogs, have been struggling with for years: attributing orders back to the marketing channel that drove the sale. Catalog marketing and circulation consultant Jim Coogan attempts to shine some light on this murky topic in Multichannel Attribution and Today's Catalog Circulation Issues, where he lays out what marketers need to consider when developing and analyzing an integrated contact strategy.