Catalog Conference Panelists: Print Catalogs Should Be Duplicated Online

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ORLANDO, FL -- Online catalogs are most successful when they are a carbon copy of the print version, according to a panel of catalogers who spoke at the Annual Catalog Conference here yesterday.


All three panelists -- Jeff Adams, director of e-commerce for Johnston & Murphy; Dayna Bateman, director of Internet marketing for Hammacher Schlemmer; and Roger Roisy, Internet sales and marketing manager for Mrs. Field's Cookies -- said their online catalogs are exact replicas of their print versions.


"We think it helps to have the same catalog online that you're mailing," Adams said.


Consumers appreciate the fact that, if they see the product in the print version on page 23, they can also find it on page 23 in the online catalog, he added.


Online catalogs are an extensively used medium, according to the speakers and research compiled by RichFX Inc., New York, that was delivered by session moderator Christophe Cremault, vice president of marketing for RichFX. Forty-nine percent of print catalog shoppers use online catalogs, according to the eTailing Group, Chicago.


"We did one as a test [and saw] extremely high ROI. We've been doing it now for two years," Adams said. "You are able to extend the depth and shelf life of your [print] catalog and it's another way to carry through that brand message," he added.


Bateman agreed that online catalogs are an effective way to raise awareness of the company's brand.


"Online is an opportunity to introduce folks to who we are," Bateman said.


The catalogers said that, while shoppers are using their online books more, consumers still want the print version.


Cremault also said the average online catalog user views online catalogs for six minutes and 18 seconds, and about 33 pages. About 60 percent of online catalogers use e-mail campaigns to promote their online books.


"I thought this number was higher, but it is also going up," Cremault said.


Also, about 15 percent of marketers advertise their online catalogs in their print versions, according to Cremault.


Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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