Catalog Doctor: Strike the Right Beauty/Clarity Balance
June 1, 2008

PATIENT: Why aren’t catalogs prettier than they are? Isn’t a beautiful design the best thing for my catalog? CATALOG DOCTOR: It’s true that many catalogs aren’t as pretty as they could be. Most important, of course, is what lifts sales. Will beauty improve sales for you? Let’s try to answer that, then look at how to achieve beauty. Look at Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous “Mona Lisa,” acknowledged as beautiful art the world over. Whether from the colors, the proportions or the mysterious smile, it has the underlying elements that make people want to look at it and hang it on their walls.

Merchandising: Don’t Be Boring
January 1, 2007

Customers want to be stimulated, surprised, intrigued, involved, entertained and loved. “Just don’t bore them,” says Kevin Roberts, author of “The Lovemarks Effect: Winning in the Consumer Revolution” (powerHouse Books, 2006). As you draw up merchandising plans for the new year, use these words as a lens to view all brand-enhancing merchandising strategies. You’ll be surprised to discover you usually have more work to do to be truly customer-centric. Below are six timely merchandising strategies to focus you on delivering an inspired merchandising experience. 1. Break through your customers’ continuous partial attention (CPA). Customers not only are multitasking more these days,

The Convergence Question
April 1, 2006

By Bill Spaide Need a seamless interface from e-commerce through order management to physical fulfillment? Here's how to get it. Online retail sales continue their year-over-year surge. Web consumers' expectations for the range of services and ease of online shopping also are increasing. As a result, Web and fulfillment technology solutions available to direct commerce marketers have undergone several changes during the last few years. What's been happening, why, and how can you take advantage of these noted trends to improve your multichannel sales and customer service efforts? In this article, I'll look at how converged software solutions

Serenity now! Nine tips to help improve your Outbound Parcel Shipping
August 1, 2004

By Donna Loyle Shipping and handling (S&H) complaints usually rank pretty high on the list of gripes customers have against merchants. At the same time, consumers rate parcel delivery companies as some of the best in customer service*. Is there a disconnect in the consumer's mind, or is there more to this dichotomy than meets the eye? Catalog Success asked Jeff Kline, a veteran of catalog fulfillment, to share his advice on how you can increase the efficiency and reduce the cost of your outbound parcel shipping services — while at the same time maintaining or even improving your customer service objectives. Kline

Levenger Rare and Well Done
May 1, 2004

By Andrea Syverson Levenger, the "Tools For Serious Readers" catalog, never ceases to make me smile. As a professional reader and someone who treats books as friends, I'd love nothing more than to win a "Levenger Lotto" and get every nifty item this catalog offers. I'm 100 percent confident that Levenger "gets me" and knows my needs as a reader. I'm a raving fan of this catalog. As a marketing strategist specializing in creative merchandising approaches, I'm impressed with Levenger's ability to develop a delight factor in all it does, season after season. Somehow, Co-founders Steve and Lori Leveen, as well as

Roundup of Holiday Sales
February 1, 2004

By Noelle Buoncristiano E-commerce continues to register strong growth metrics. Indeed, online holiday shoppers spent a record $18.5 billion this year, according to the eSpending Report from Goldman, Sachs & Co., Harris Interactive and Nielsen/NetRatings. This was a 35 percent increase over the $13.7 billion spent in 2002. Purchases made with Visa debit and credit cards registered a whopping $97.9 billion during the holiday season. And Visa reported that online purchases alone increased almost 50 percent, with a total dollar volume exceeding $7.6 billion. Shopping.com, an online comparison-shopping service, helped a record 76 million holiday shoppers, an 81 percent increase in traffic

Readers’ Advocate
September 1, 2003

About Levenger Established: 1987 Headquarters: Delray Beach, FL Merchandise sold: high-end reading and writing products; home and personal accessories Annual circulation: about 26 million Sales channels: catalog, retail, Internet Customer demographics: 80 percent hold Bachelor’s degrees, and 45 percent hold advanced degrees. How the catalog was started: In the 1980s, Leveen and his wife, Lori (an equal partner and founder in the company), realized there was not enough light for both of them to read in their small Boston condominium. Soon, their wheels began to turn, and they placed a 1˝ ad in The New Yorker in October 1987. The ad