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Catalog Evolves From Web Adjunct to Equal Partner

Eziba.com launched a catalog last year to drive more customers to its Web site, and the book has done just that. But the catalog also has grown into an equal partner with the site, accounting for half of sales.

“When we launched the catalog last October, it was meant to drive customers to our Web site,” said Bill Miller, CEO of Eziba.com, North Adams, MA. “Our product assortment range from jewelry to antiques, and the catalog is a window into all our offerings. The book has between 300 and 400 items, while our Web site has 2,500 items. We found during the test that there are customers who prefer to order from the catalog and collect them.”

The growth of catalog sales has prompted the marketer of handcrafted gifts, home furnishings, jewelry and clothing to make changes to both its catalog and online businesses.

“As the company grows and we become more of a balanced business between the Web and catalog, we felt that we wanted to create a new identity for the company,” Miller said.

Part of that new identity will be a change in the company logo from eZiba.com to EZIBA.com to de-emphasize its dot-com roots.

Eziba has increased catalog circulation for the year by 20 percent to 6 million books. It will drop a redesigned catalog Aug. 27 that will include stories of artists and their products. A section called World Style will offer design themes and suggestions on how to decorate with Eziba products.

The catalog will have nearly 400 items in 72 pages, triple the pages of the spring catalog. Books will drop monthly through the fall. Eziba plans to produce a smaller book for Christmas, offering gift suggestions for last-minute shoppers.

A new Web site will launch Aug. 15. Redesigned inhouse, it will include the artist profiles and design tips found in the new catalog.

Eziba will continue efforts to build its 400,000-name database, including through partnerships with museums and galleries.

“In our original (catalog) testing we found that museum-goers are attracted to our products, as well as people who travel,” Miller said. “So many of our products are from exotic areas, and museums lists are one of the most successful groups we've marketed to.”

Eziba.com and the American Craft Museum have created products jointly and will sell them in the New York museum's gift shop.

“It's a first brick-and-mortar presence of our products, which also will start in August,” Miller said, adding that though there are no plans to open its own store, the company will look to create more in-store opportunities with other museums.

The company rents lists from ALC of New York LLC for prospecting efforts. Eziba's demographics are 70 percent female, ages 36 to 55 and with annual incomes of more than $75,000. Its online presence, however, shifts to include consumers younger than 30.

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