Paper Catalog Still Primary Remote Sales Channel
The paper catalog is still the largest revenue generator - nearly 50% of sales in both 2007 and 2008 - among all channels used by companies that sell goods to consumers and businesses from a remote location, though web sales continue to grow, a new study finds
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA
) released its "State of the Catalog Industry, 2008 edition
," which found that similar to prior years some 62% of respondents said catalogs were their primary sales channel; websites were second (20%), followed by retail (6%).
"Most of our respondents continue to use catalogs as their dominant or secondary channel of marketing and sales," said Anna Chernis, senior research manager at DMA. "And our data suggests a consensus among successful marketers that there are consistent and integrated standards across all channels, as virtually all use some form of internet marketing to supplement their catalog channel."
Among other findings:
About the study:
- Survey respondents experienced increase in sales in 2007 and expect increases in 2008.
- There was a large increase in circulation from 2003 to present, likely a result of more companies' using catalogs to drive web business.
- With the catalog industry using more than one channel to sell products, almost 90% of respondents track response rates for online buyers separately from offline buyers, compared with around 60% in 2005 and 2006.
- Asked which media respondents use to cross-sell offline buyers online, in addition email promotions and web offers, 32% of respondents said they also use search marketing.
- 50% of all respondents report they have fully integrated marketing functions, but 60-70% of respondents report being fully integrated in operational, consumer-facing functions.
DMA conducted this survey in April and May of 2008 through an email invitation sent to multichannel companies, including catalog, retail, and internet merchants. When the survey was closed, 106 respondents were included for tabulation. DMA's report contains four chapters on the following topics: Profile of Respondents and Industry Overview; Multichannel Marketing Practices; Sales Results and Strategies; Circulation Statistics.
, a division of Epsilon, participated in this report by providing a detailed analysis of the billions of transactional records from 100 million households in their Abacus Alliance database, summarized in the report's Appendix.