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Catalogs VS. Online Shopping

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This is the time of year that most people will receive countless catalogs in their mailboxes. With online shopping continuing to increase why are so many retailers mailing catalogs? The strategy is fairly simple; retailers are hoping that their catalog will direct consumers to their online sites.

The Direct Marketing Association estimates that catalog sales will increase 7.5 percent to $144 billion for the year. While the National Retail Federation estimates that holiday sales will grow 5 percent to $144 billion for the year.
The catalog as a dinosaur concept does not seem to be going away. Retail specialty stores like Victoria’s Secret mail catalogs and so do online companies like eBay. Retailers believe that relying only on TV, radio are not enough. They want to be able to reach as many as their customers as possible even if it means using the archaic method of sending a catalog.

George Hague, senior marketing strategist at J. Schmid & Assoc. Inc., a catalog consulting company in Mission, Kan. Said “You’re not supposed to rely on the customer to contact you. You need to contact your customers”.

Most retailers seem to have a policy that if you buy anything from them online or through a brick and mortar store that you will be put on their mailing list. There are catalogs I still receive from one-time purchases that were made over a year ago.

In a post on this subject from TechDirt.com one poster replied “I have to admit that I’m one of those people that will get a catalog, look it over then buy it online. The thing is I don’t regularly look at online catalogs and the only way I see a good sale is when paper catalog comes in the mail.”

It does not look like the catalog is going to disappear any time soon.

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Mike is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

Catalogs VS. Online Shopping
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