Ten ways catalogues compete

By Isla Munro

5 minute Read


  • Insight

Catalogues are a powerful and resilient marketing tool. They continue to grow in popularity and implement technological innovations. Even the most internet-driven brands like Amazon output annual catalogues because they understand the purchasing power that this format has. Here are ten reasons why every brand should have a catalogue:

1. Catalogues have a long-lasting impact. People love to read them, refer to them, share them with other members of the household and flick through them from time to time. In fact, 86% of people said they keep catalogues in the home for a period of time, and 65% enjoyed sitting down to look at them in their own time.

2. Catalogues prevent digital fatigue. Did you know, most people prefer reading on paper to online? It’s the same for catalogues, 63% of people say it’s easier to browse products in a catalogue than in-store or online.

3. Catalogues are now becoming more digitally integrated. Amazon’s 2019 toy catalogue included QR codes which allowed readers to check the price of each product. Their catalogue was loved by kids and adults alike, and was featured in more than one news article.

4. Catalogues can be highly personalised. As many realised with Amazon’s 2019 toy catalogue, you can customise the catalogue for the recipient. This kind of personalisation goes beyond just the name it’s addressed to. By segmenting your mailing database into demographics, you can send each segment a customised catalogue geared towards their interests.

5. Catalogues can build your brand’s reputation. MarketReach found that 71% of people surveyed said catalogues let them know what a brand can offer.

6. They pave the way for more sales. 75% of people say catalogues give them ideas for things to do or buy because of the pictures used, or settings products are placed in, meaning you can capture a sale from someone who wasn’t considering your product before.

7. They boost sales exponentially. Of those who purchase through catalogues, 52% said they bought more than planned when shopping with a printed catalogue. You can incentivise with free gifts or delivery when a certain amount has been spent. Charities like Erskine and YDMT are one industry who benefit from gift guide catalogues too. Consumers get something back whilst also giving to a good cause.

8. Catalogues are a great marketing tool for the competitive season. You can use your catalogue to boost sales a busy time of the year such as Christmas. This is what Posh Totty did at Black Friday, and they saw a 35% higher online order value from those who received their catalogue.

9. They build a loyal customer base. Catalogues give you the power to showcase your products and bring your brand directly into the homes of your customers. You are building a relationship with that customer as your catalogue sits on a coffee table, is picked up, read through and ordered from. If you’re one to send regular catalogues, you’ll find that your customers will start looking forward to the next one, like Celtic & Co. has.

10. Catalogues can be adapted to suit any business’s audience. Their high interaction rate makes them perfect for those looking to dip their toe into direct mail. Use a small, digitally printed catalogue mailing to test your audience’s reception to catalogues.

If your business is looking to introduce a catalogue into your marketing mix, we’ll make sure it goes the extra mile. Get in touch to find out how.

Source: MarketReach, 'How to grow your business with catalogues'

Isla Munro image

About the author

Isla is an experienced Managing Director, marketeer and leader. Driven by creative data led solutions, she takes pride in providing the best direct marketing campaigns and strategies. As Dragonfly’s Managing Director, her goals include delivering growth not just for her clients, but her team too. Isla sits on the Royal Mail Strategic Mailing Partnership board and the DMA Scotland committee and has spoken at many industry events on topics including GDPR and direct marketing.