Catalogs Remain Key Tool for Online Merchants (Print in the Mix)

Catalogs Remain Key Tool for Online Merchants

August 2012 -- According to Multichannel Marketing Magazine's 2012 -13 Outlook Survey: Catalogs, online merchants continue to embrace catalogs as part of their effort to effectively market and increase sales.  

Key findings:

The top marketing channels of online merchants, retailers, manufacturers, and publishers surveyed for 2012-13:

  • 85.5% of companies are using ecommerce websites,
  • 76.5% say social media,
  • Nearly 60% of all respondents are using catalogs (B2B – 57.6%, B2C – 61.3%).  Last year, 65.4% of respondents reported using catalogs.

When respondents were asked to rate, on a scale of 1 to 10, the motiva­tions for using a catalog, other than to sell products, branding was the most popular tactic.


Source:  MCM Catalog Outlook Report 2012-2013


Catalogs remain the top prospecting tool of merchants:

  • 71.7% of all respondents plan to use catalogs for prospecting,
  • 66.7% will use Facebook,
  • 65.8% will use email,
  • 54.2% will use print advertising,
  • 41.7% will use Pay Per Click (PPC) ads.

Besides Facebook, 42.5% of those surveyed use Twitter, 30.8% use Google+ and 25% use Pinterest.
When respondents were asked, “What print formats, other than catalogs, have you used to cut costs in the past 12 months?,” 44% of retailers said they had decided to use post­cards, 39.7% used fliers, 38.8% used direct mail, 27.6% used solo mailers, and 19.8% said they won’t use an alter­native print method in 2012.


Source:  MCM Catalog Outlook Report 2012-2013


When asked, “ Do you plan to create a customized catalog for specific customer segments within the next 12 months?,” 52.3% of B2B and 46.9% of B2C merchants responded in the affirmative.
The survey also determined that 30% of B2C catalogers and 14% of B2B merchants are using variable data printing (VDP) to customize catalogs -- and more than 22% are actively considering variable printing.
Methodology: An online survey was fielded by Multichannel Merchant beginning on April 19, 2012. Subsequent mailings were sent to Multichannel Merchant’s subscriber list, as well as to those of sister publications Chief Marketer and DIRECT. Emails were also sent to members of Multichannel Merchant’s two LinkedIn groups (Multichannel Merchant and O+F Operations & Fulfillment). A link to the survey was also tweeted via Multichannel Merchant group and individual accounts. As an incentive to participate, survey respondents were offered the chance to win a $200 gift card. When the survey closed on May 21, there were 952 respondents. Of those, 654 (69%) indicated that their company was an online merchant, retailer, manufacturer, publisher/media or a wholesale distributor. Those active respondents form the basis of the survey results.

View the full article from Pint in the Mix -

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