Remember catalogs? Those heavy books sent out by companies looking for sales and inviting customers to thumb through? Much has been made about the decline of this marketing methods. Most analysts point to the proliferation of online shopping as the reason that catalog mailings began decreased sharply beginning in 2007. The argument makes sense from a timeline and a common-sense perspective, as online shopping allows for much of the same opportunities without the cost of printing and mailing.
But in 2013, for the first time since that 2007 bench mark, the number of catalogs mailed in the United States increased. In all, 11.9 billion catalogs were mailed throughout the country. That’s still only 60 percent of the amount mailed in 2007, but an important increase over the following years.
When looking at many of the catalogs mailed out today, it’s not difficult to find a reason for that resurgence. Much like direct marketing as a whole, catalogs are undergoing an evolution to adjust to current market and consumer trends. They’re no longer full of product listings; rather, they read much like actual books, showing products in action, and even including product and company-related stories.
At the same time, they still take advantage of still-existing catalog customer base. According to the Direct Marketing Association, 90 million Americans still purchase from catalogs, and the American Catalog Mailer’s Association completes the picture by stating that every customer who receives a catalog spends on average $850 on catalog purchases.
As a result, marketers are returning to the concept of catalog-based direct mailing. J.C. Penney’s announced the return of its home good catalog earlier this year, while IKEA – long a catalog proponent – made waves with the originality of its catalog-based advertisement about a “book-book.”
In short, catalog mailings remain an important part of direct marketing. And we can help you produce and mail them! Contact us today for more information on how a catalog can help your company’s business.