A catalogue is like a storefront in a brochure. If you’re selling a variety of products, catalogue marketing could be an exciting way for potential customers to browse, compare, and choose what suits them best.
Are you an ecommerce brand with multiple products to sell? Are your customers spoilt for choice when they shop with you? If this sounds like you, a catalogue should definitely be in your list of printed marketing materials.
Everyone loves the idea of window shopping from the comfort of their own couch! That’s pretty much what catalogue marketing is—and you should be taking advantage of it.
Here’s all you need to know about it and how to start.
What Is A Catalogue?
A catalogue is a list of items, usually in some sort of order. For example, it may be alphabetical. Or in the case of an ecommerce brand showcasing products, they could be grouped according to price, use, type, or collection.
It usually includes a picture of the item for sale and the price. More extensive catalogues may include a description of the item too.
You’ll often also find contact information or advice on how to choose the right thing for you, usually in the front or back of the catalogue.
Catalogues are much more commonly used for product-based businesses, rather than services. Some examples may be a shoe catalogue from a certain shop, a guitar catalogue from a particular brand showcasing their models, or a grocery store catalogue.
If you’re a service-based business, you can still use a catalogue, though! It works best if you have a variety of different services on offer.
What Is Catalogue Marketing?
Catalogue marketing is simple. It’s putting all of your products into a catalogue for easy viewing, and sending that off to targeted customers for them to browse through.
Essentially, you’re sending interested parties a “store-in-a-brochure”. They can sit down, browse through it, share it with their partner or friend, and see what catches their eye.
Why Catalogue Marketing Is A Great Idea
Who doesn’t love window shopping? A catalogue is like window shopping without leaving the comfort of your home!
Research suggests that readers browse through catalogues for an average of 15 minutes at a time. They also seem to hold onto them for a good few weeks, longer than the usual bit of direct mail.
Here’s why catalogue marketing is a great way to showcase your products:
Easy to Find Products
If a customer is looking for something specific, a catalogue is usually a good place to browse. For example, if you sell electronics and a customer is in the market for a new smartphone, there’s likely to be a phone section in your catalogue.
They’ll be able to compare different phones with specific features, at a variety of price points. They have enough choice to make an informed decision.
All You Need to Know
Catalogues have the potential to hold a huge amount of info. Customers can view a variety of product choices, features, prices, and comparisons.
But there’s also ample room in a catalogue to add educational information to help your customer make the right choice.
Easy to Share With Others
Catalogues are practically made to be shared with others! Window shopping is always more fun with someone else, and the same is true for catalogues.
They tend to be shared, shown around, and kept for much longer than the usual type of direct mail marketing.
If you have a physical store, you’ll find that people start walking into the store with the catalogue, pointing out specific items that they’re looking for!
Tips for Effective Catalogue Marketing
Interested in trying catalogue marketing for your business? Here are some tips to do it effectively and see more sales!
Group Your Items Carefully
Sometimes it’s easy to see the groupings without trying too hard. For example, shoes might be grouped in sections like athletic shoes, cross-training shoes, dress shoes, work boots, and so on.
Other times, it’s not so easy. You’ll need to decide what makes the most sense for your products. Does grouping them by different types make sense, eg. a furniture company grouping by “couch”, “cushions”, “desks”, “lamps”, etc? Or would it work better to group them by function, like “cooking”, “cleaning”, and so on?
If all else fails and you can’t find a great way to group your items, going by price from lowest to highest is never a bad idea. It’s an excellent way for customers to shop within their budget, but still dream about higher-ticket items!
Offer Some Guidelines for Buying
There’s plenty of space in a catalogue for some educational content. Find a way to provide some value to your potential customer. Here are some examples:
- Clothing store ideas: “How to Dress Warmly + Stylishly for Winter”, “Best Ways to Pair Accessories With Your Outfit”, “Best Eye-Catching Colour Combinations”, etc
- Shoe store ideas: “Shoe Sizing Guide”, “How to Care For Your Leather Shoes”, “Do You Need a Wide Shoe Size?”
- Sporting goods store ideas: “How to Knock In a New Cricket Bat”, “How to Keep Warm Running in Winter”, “Finding the Right Sized Hockey Stick For You”, etc
Link to an Online Store
One of the best ways to get customers to buy without ever having to leave their couch is to direct them to an online store in the brochure.
If you want to get fancy, you can include a QR code with each product that they can scan to take them directly to the item in your online store.
Or just add an easy-to-spot CTA to buy their favourite items at your online store, with a website link directing them there.
Make sure the items online have the same names as those in your catalogue! It’s likely your customer will want to search for something specific they liked when they get to the online store.
Another great idea is to offer a discount code for holders of the catalogue. Add a code with your CTA for 10% off their next purchase, free shipping, or anything else you can think of, and you should have people taking advantage of that.