Religious Cataloger Sees the Light With Web Site

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Catholic Direct, a catalog company, this week launched an e-commerce Web site, www.catholicdirect.com.


The cataloger supplies churches, institutions and religious organizations with religious products, such as bibles, candles and shrines.


"It's a new venue for our customers to see and purchase our products, and it gives us a chance to expand our business," said Dean Schulhof, vice president at Catholic Direct, New York.


Schulhof said Catholic Direct will promote the Web site through its catalog, which is distributed to about 20,000 offline customers, by splashing the URL address throughout the book. However, the company will not yet offer consumers specials as incentives to shop online.


The Web site currently has 10 percent of the catalog's 3,500 products available, Schulhof said. By the end of the year, he said, Catholic Direct hopes to expand the site's inventory to about 50 percent of the catalog's products.


"We've been serving the Catholic market for about 50 years now," Schulhof said. "This new channel should make it easier for us to acquire new customers and serve our existing customers more effectively."


Wares on the Web, Woodbury, NJ, a provider of e-commerce infrastructure, designed the Web site for Catholic Direct and will help with some of the online marketing. Catholic Direct hopes to partner with other religious e-commerce sites to cross-market their products, Schulhof said.


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