Underhill: Catalogers Need Help in 3-D World of Retail

Share this article:

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - Some catalogers with legendary customer service at their call centers can't manage gift wrapping in their stores that isn't "facisistic," said Envirosell managing director Paco Underhill during the opening keynote Sept. 21 at the New England Mail Order Association's fall conference at The Saratoga Hotel here.

"Our future is the great merchants who are recognizing what they can get out of stores, the Internet and catalogs," Mr.Underhill said.

Mr. Underhill runs Envirosell, which tests prototype stores for many of the world's largest merchants.

The catalog industry has done a very good job of projecting an evocative brand image in a two-dimensional format. Where it is trouble is in the three-dimensional world, Mr. Underhill said.

For example, he'll shop the Land's End catalog but won't shop the brand in Sears stores. Another example is The Territory Ahead, which Mr. Underhill said is one of his favorite catalogs because of the colorful copy. The stores, on the other hand, are bland.

Some examples of merchants who are currently executing multichannel merchandising well include Staples, which makes it easy to order online and pick up in the store; Best Buy, which has in-store kiosks that not only enable customers to buy items but also do a better job of providing information about the products than store personnel; and David Yurman, which asks its female customers for their boyfriends' or husbands' e-mail addresses so the store can send them reminders about her favorite items.

Kiosks are much better utilized by merchants in other parts of the world, Mr. Underhill said. A supermarket in Sweden, for example, uses them to showcase exotic vegetables as a way to trade up customers.

Europe is also ahead of the U.S. when it comes to green marketing, but it is coming, Mr. Underhill said.

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.
close

Next Article in Multichannel Marketing

Sign up to our newsletters

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

More in Multichannel Marketing

Complexity's What Marketers Got, Simplicity's What They Want

Complexity's What Marketers Got, Simplicity's What They Want

Customer insights managers want campaign management tools to remain easy to use, even as they up their games with multi-layered campaigns.

Wine.com Uncorks New Digital Marketing Opportunities

Wine.com Uncorks New Digital Marketing Opportunities

The online wine retailer's strategy incorporates different flavors and depths.

93% of Companies Are Ineffective at Cross-Channel Marketing

93% of Companies Are Ineffective at Cross-Channel Marketing ...

Companies point to a lack of resources as the most common reason for lackluster marketing integration, a study says.