Professionally, Lynda Swann will never be another Eddie Smith. Then again, she won’t have to be. The support system her father fostered and nurtured during his 50-plus years running the women’s hosiery and apparel catalog National Wholesale Co. runs so seamlessly that Swann handles her role as president with relative ease.
With the Internet fast becoming the vehicle of choice for catalog shoppers to place orders, catalogers face the challenge of identifying what inspired those buys to begin with. The more marketing channels available, the more ways companies can reach existing clients and prospects. But unless a buyer purchases the old-fashioned way — via phone, fax or mail — or types the key code of a catalog into the Web order form, it’s tough to determine whether that sale was driven by the catalog, an e-newsletter, a Google search or an intentional visit to your site. Earlier this year, Catalog Success polled multichannel merchants to