Abacus, a division of DoubleClick Inc., New York, announced the formation yesterday of Abacus Australia. The division will be based in Sydney with an office in Melbourne.
Abacus Australia will offer two products to its Alliance members: Acquisition Modeling and Retention Modeling. Each Abacus Alliance is made up of participants who use the member transactional information managed as a cooperative database. It enables members to improve their direct mail targeting and customer segmentation based on recent actual purchase activity across the database.
DoubleClick's Abacus division operates the Abacus Alliances for catalog companies in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and Germany.
Australia is a growing catalog market. According to a 2003 survey conducted by the Australian Catalogue Association, the number of direct mail and catalogs has increased an average of 6.2 percent each year since 1999. The association expects the industry to grow 5 percent this year.
The survey also found that Australians are becoming more receptive to catalogs, with 74 percent visiting a retail outlet as a result of reading a catalog, up from 50 percent in 1999. Also, 70 percent of consumers said they rely on catalogs to help them make buying decisions.
“We see this as a natural expansion for Abacus as many of our U.S. and UK customers are also in Australia,” said Abacus president Brian Rainey. “With over 10 companies already committed to joining the Australian Alliance, more than half of which are active participants with Abacus elsewhere in the world, we have a strong foundation from which the local operation can quickly ramp-up.”