Catalog Design

Going From Square Inch Analysis to Setting the Number of Pages for Your Catalog
December 5, 2013

A cataloger's basic scorecard is their square inch analysis, which tells how much profit each item and page delivers. Some square inch analysis is meticulously tabulated with the exact amount of catalog pages each item has had over the span of several catalogs. Other analysis is more casual, with less attention to the exact space allocation and the total cost of the page space devoted to each item. Whether the format is rigorous or loose and whether the data is precise or just directional, the underlying purpose of square inch analysis is simple: it tells you whether each item is profitable or not. The issue is simple: Why sell items that aren't profitable?

Flipboard Lets Retailers Create Custom Catalogs
November 12, 2013

Dipping its toes in e-commerce, the personalized magazine app Flipboard yesterday launched a way for anyone to create catalogs on the service. The new feature is an extension of a move in March to allow users to create their own online magazines. To date, some 4.5 million magazines have been created, CEO Mike McCue said in an interview. Flipboard's user base has been booming this year, growing from 50 million registered users in March to 90 million today. The new catalog feature, which adds shopping to the app's range of content categories, is likely to be particularly popular with retailers.

Why Sharper Image Embedded a ‘Buy Now’ Mobile Capability Into its Catalog
November 12, 2013

In an effort to make it simpler for consumers to simultaneously browse its print catalog and research and buy from their mobile devices, Sharper Image embedded a “Buy  Now” capability into its holiday preview catalog. The catalog is chock-full of electronic, recreation, fitness and travel products, and was sent to 4 million households and businesses on Nov. 4.

Why the Analog Catalog Still Drives Digital Sales
November 8, 2013

In spite of web stores, shopping tools and apps, paper catalogs are still surprisingly effective at selling stuff. More than half of online shoppers said they browse catalogs and almost one-third of people making an internet purchase have a catalog on hand when they click "Buy," according to a new survey by Kurt Salmon, a global retail consultancy. A whopping 86 percent of the survey's respondents bought an item after first seeing it in a catalog.

‘Clean’ Design: Lean, Mean Selling Machine or Buying Barrier?
September 18, 2013

‘Clean’ design typically means more negative space (aka white space), minimal copy, larger but fewer images per product, sans-serif type, often smaller point sizes and sometimes gray type instead of black. To see if clean is for you, let's look at where it works and where it doesn't.

The Value of Design Elements in Print Catalogs
September 1, 2013

Q: "Our catalogs tend to be crammed with photos 
and descriptions. How do I demonstrate to upper 
management the value of design elements, white space and larger photos per spread?"
 — Angela Sanchez,
 creative director, NLC Products

Don't Give Up Your Order Form Just Yet
July 23, 2013

With the help of The Dingley Press, we conducted a study to determine how many catalogs it prints that still include some type of order form. We found that almost half of our fairly large sample size have no inside ink-jet or order form insert, but they do have an order form printed on-page in the catalog. Another 18.5 percent use a bind-in order form. In summary, 71.5 percent of the catalogs we surveyed use an order form; only 28.5 percent have eliminated the order form entirely.

How Catalogs Drive Your Business
June 14, 2013

The printed catalog is the main driver of traffic to the web. However, with all of the other touchpoints available to consumers today, how do we really know the impact of catalog mailings on web sales? And why do we give so much credit to the print catalog? There are a few reasons why: