Results from the opening phase of the holiday shopping period indicate that more catalog-driven orders are going to the Internet and stores this year than in 2003, according to DoubleClick's Holiday 2004 Shopping Report: Catalog and Multi-Channel Purchase Behavior study, which was released yesterday.
DoubleClick, New York, based its findings on aggregate data from its Abacus database division for the period of Labor Day through Nov. 10.
During this period in 2003, 54 percent of catalog-driven orders were recorded at call centers, the report said. Of the rest, 22 percent occurred online and 24 percent took place in stores. In 2004 so far, catalog-driven orders appear to be shifting away from call centers, with 35 percent coming via call centers, 36 percent online and 29 percent in stores.
Analyzing the direct channels separately revealed that in 2003, 70 percent of catalog-driven orders went to call centers and 30 percent took place online. However, in 2004 so far, the two channels have been split evenly.
The report also showed that the overall number of catalogs dropped during the nine weeks between Labor Day and the first week of November was the same as last year. In this period, 60 percent of catalogers increased circulation while 40 percent decreased compared with 2003 levels.
On a week-by-week basis, the largest increase in mailings came the week following Labor Day, which saw a 55 percent jump. The largest decrease came the final week of October — the week before Election Day — when mail drops fell 50 percent versus last year. The decline most likely was attributable to mailers avoiding competing for consumer attention during the election period, DoubleClick said.