Special Report: E-Commerce & Catalog Technology: Take a Page From Facebook
July 1, 2008

Eyeing the ongoing, phenomenal success of trailblazing social networking sites MySpace and Facebook, catalogers are creating their own online communities where they glean valuable feedback from customer posts. “It’s a good time to become a niche online community and do it right,” says Don Philabaum, CEO of Internet Strategies Group, an online consulting firm. “You have millions of people who’ve learned the value of being a part of an online community, and they’ll bring experience, enthusiasm, content — and their network — to your online community.” Blogs, discussion boards and other forms of interactive media are the most cost-effective customer feedback mechanisms around, according

June 1, 2008

Catalogers’ Updates • Gander Mountain: Twelve years since it last mailed a catalog, this hunting, fishing, outdoor apparel, and lifestyle products and services marketer has returned to the catalog industry. In late April, Gander mailed a 324-page catalog from its Overton’s subsidiary containing products from Overton’s, Gander Mountain and others to more than 2 million customers. Plans call for catalogs carrying exclusively Gander Mountain products to be mailed later this year. The company also expects to convert its informational Web site into a transactional one later this year. • Dell: The personal computer marketer continued its recent cost-cutting initiative by laying off 250 workers

All Circuits are Busy
February 1, 2008

Approaching $8 billion in total sales and $559 million in profit for its most recent fiscal year, CDW’s roots are in cataloging in case you forgot. The Vernon Hills, Ill.-based provider of technology products and services for business, government and education was, and still is, a B-to-B cataloger, but a far cry from a mom-and-pop startup. For the past decade, CDW (which stands for the company’s original moniker, Computer Discount Warehouse) recognized growth opportunities within the tech industry and sought a multichannel approach to reaching its customers. Using vehicles such as television, radio, Internet, in-house magazine publications, webinars, seminars, sponsorship events and catalogs,

E-commerce: How Interactive Additions to HP.com Increased Sales, Reduced Exit Rates
February 20, 2007

As evidenced by the proliferation of shows like eTail, nearly every cataloger and brick-and-mortar retailer has its own Web site. But what does that Web site do for your brand? Is your business on the Web to sell, build the brand or just keep up with the competition? Prior to a recent redesign of HP.com, Hewlett-Packard defined its online priorities and took steps to address them with Web 2.0 features, such as blogs, podcasts and interactive content, said Stephanie Acker-Moy, vice president of customer experience at HP.com, in a keynote session at last week’s eTail conference in Palm Desert, Calif. Below are her top three

Industry Eye: Letters to the Editor
January 1, 2007

On Dell’s Service Woes Dear Editor, We read your editorial in the November issue and acknowledge that some of our customers, like you, haven’t received a positive experience when dealing with our customer service group. We’re making a sincere effort to address these concerns, as well as making a significant investment in our customer service organization to ensure that we consistently provide an excellent experience. In fact, this year alone, we have invested $150 million toward retraining our customer care and technical support teams, establishing additional vehicles for our customers to interact with us, and many more initiatives that are significantly

Internet Competition Spurs Catalogers’ Ad Spend Increases
July 25, 2006

Catalogers ad spend will increase to $1.3 billion in 2007, reflecting increasing Internet competition, according to estimates in a recent study on advertising ratios and budgets from market research firm Schonfeld & Associates. By comparison, online stores Amazon.com and eBay plan to increase ad spending this year by 11 percent and 21 percent, respectively. Other data revealed in the study: * Computer manufacturers, such as Hewlett-Packard, will increase ad spending by 5.3 percent. * Retail department stores, including such catalog mailers as J.C. Penney, will spend $4.3 billion in 2007, up 7.5 percent from 2005. * Variety stores, such as Target and Wal-mart, will

June 1, 2005

Consumer Time for Me Time for Me is a new catalog put out by AmeriMark. The 11,792 three-month buyers on this file have ordered activewear, intimate apparel, footwear, personal care items, and/or health and beauty products catering specifically to the 40-plus woman. The base list price is $120/M. For more information, contact your list broker or Mokrynskidirect, (201) 487-8181, or www.mokrynski.com. Money Money magazine's 1.5 million subscribers have taken an active interest in their personal money management. This publication offers articles on saving and investing as well as other areas where life and money intersect: the home, travel,

Numbers Tell a Story
October 1, 2004

By Steve Trollinger How to use square inch analysis Square inch analysis (SQUINCH) is an extraordinary tool for consumer and business catalogers alike. Sorted and executed the right way, a comprehensive SQUINCH can serve as a creative road map to your catalog campaigns, just as your contact strategy defines the plan from a marketing perspective. A comprehensive square inch analysis allows you to evaluate product sales and placement to determine whether the right product, price point or category is given the appropriate amount of space in the right location in your catalog. And by basing the analysis on customer behavior,

September 30, 2002

To enhance your company's privacy policy, make it easily available to all appropriate employees. The challenge for any company is to make the corporate privacy policy real to its employees. We developed a privacy rule book that outlines our policy implementation standards, adapted to different roles and business functions. —Barbara Lawler, chief privacy officer, Hewlett Packard

Alternative Catalog Formats to Test (1,467 words)
September 1, 1998

by Jack Schmid What do all the following situations have in common? • You're launching a new catalog. • You're spinning off a catalog from an existing product line. • Your catalog design is flat, tired and you're re-thinking the look of the entire book. • You're considering adding an extra mailing to the season and want it to really stand out. Every one of these examples must deal with a common question: What's the size and shape (or format) of the new book going to be? Catalog format is often taken for granted. It is typically established by a previous creative team or