On the following pages you’ll meet the winners of the fourth annual Catalogers of the Year awards. We’re honored to recognize the contributions these three professionals have made to the catalog and e-commerce industries. This year’s winners exemplify the astounding level of quality in branding, customer service and merchandising this industry enjoys. The winners include: 1. a former museum director who now sells museum shop-quality educational toys to a national audience via her catalog; 2. a transplanted Briton who has built a thriving company selling telephony equipment; and 3. an industry veteran whose reputation as a maverick in branding, direct marketing and channel-integration
By Noelle Buoncristiano Four tactics for multichannel success. Today's multichannel merchants continually are searching for viable channel-integration solutions — a seamless blend across the key points of customer interaction, including catalogs, Web sites, retail stores and kiosks. "Providing seamless integration communicates a consistent message to consumers and results in higher transaction values," note the authors of the LakeWest Group's Fifth Annual POS Benchmarking Survey 2004. But as most catalogers will tell you, achieving that seamless blend across all sales channels is more difficult than it appears to be. Following are a few tactics that can help you make the most
It should have such incredible perceived value that your visitors want to bookmark it By Denny Hatch When I travel, I like to bring my laptop so I can check e-mail and read English-language newspapers online. To do that, of course, I need the right phone jack for the country I'm visiting. Recently I went to Spain. Before I left, I visited the Web site for the Magellan's catalog, clicked on "Info Center," scrolled down the country guides list to Spain and found that Spanish telephones are accessible with the RJ-11 adapter used in the United States. Terrific! No order needed from
Product benefits and colorful food imagery are key ingredients to selling high-end “outdoor kitchens” Grills have come a long way since the tiny, round burners of old. In fact, today’s large, high-tech grills are known as “outdoor kitchens,” and buyers are spending huge sums to provide their guests with the best cookout experience possible. According to Jeff Ryan, a senior copywriter at Via and a 19-year veteran of L.L. Bean, today’s grill merchants need to point out benefits like stainless-steel construction, burner capacity and easy cleaning. To appeal to the modern grill market, Ryan says copywriters also should mention grill size; how
Requests For Proposals (RFPs) are the best way to escape a hostage situation with your vendors. They give you control over deadlines, quality, product requirements, service and how materials are shipped. Typically, RFPs are written to solicit a specific service from a vendor for merchandise or raw materials, telecommunications, printing, paper, ordering systems and fulfillment services. An RFP is a detailed request that provides product requirements, service terms and maintenance necessities to a vendor who responds with a list of capabilities and a price for his or her wares. Most catalogers begin searching for a vendor about year before they expect
Marketing online is cataloging in reverse. Instead of mailing to your housefile, you use it to lure prospects to your Web site. Using high-speed automated databases, Web sites can make judgment calls about what products to offer to which consumer and can treat valued customers differently than prospects. That’s because you have a mix of customers who know you and customers who don’t, so changing your Web site to suit each customer is just as important as versioning your catalog or knowing which products will appeal most to a certain consumer. Tailoring the online offer to the shopper increases the chances of purchase.
Brides and catalogers turn to online registries National retail chains used to dominate the wedding gift registry market. Now the Web is cutting catalogers a bigger piece of the $35 billion wedding cake as online gift registries make registering and shopping for gifts easier for far-flung guests. Renowned gift catalogs, including Ross-Simons and Macys.com, have already put their popular real-world registries online. Now Web gift registry networks are making cross-catalog registrations possible so that a bride and groom with eclectic tastes can register for everything from fine china to outdoor recreation gear. These registries include Della & James (www.dellajames.com), which was
by Jack Schmid THE BIG IDEA! What direct marketer has not dreamed of coming up with that totally unique, breakthrough concept like the "Johnson Box" or the negative option club or another creative ploy that gives one immortality in industry recognition. Whether you're a designer, photographer, writer, printer or order form manufacturer, everyone is seeking that special creative technique that will help their work stand out, differentiate themselves from the competition and get better results. "Beat the Control!" is the cry of creative professionals. Let's look at a number of ways that successful catalogers are thinking "outside the box" in their creative efforts.