Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Catalog Sales Channel Still Strong

The 16th Annual "State of the Catalog Industry," published by The Direct Marketing Association, finds that 62% of respondents use catalogs as their primary sales channel.

“Most of our respondents continue to use catalogs as their dominant or secondary channel of marketing and sales,” notes the DMA. “And our data suggests a consensus among successful marketers that there are consistent and integrated standards across all channels, as virtually all use some form of Internet marketing to supplement their catalog channel.”

The DMA’s report contains four chapters on the following topics: Profile of Respondents and Industry Overview; Multichannel Marketing Practices; Sales Results and Strategies; and Circulation Statistics. It is also broken down by three segmentations: expertise (survey participants rated their own level of expertise in multichannel practices — beginner, intermediate, or expert); revenue size of the company (three revenue subgroups were created — small companies up to $10 million; medium $11 to $250 million; large $251 million or more); and type of market (three primary market break outs — businesses, consumers, or both equally).

Additionally, the 2008 report revealed:

· The paper catalog is still the largest revenue generator among all channels with an average of nearly 50% of sales in both 2007 and 2008, although web sales continue to grow.

· Survey respondents experienced increase in sales in 2007 and expect increases in 2008.

· There was a large increase in circulation from 2003 to present, likely a result of more companies using catalogs to drive web business.

· With the catalog industry using more than one channel to sell their products, almost 90 percent of respondents track response rates for online buyers separately from offline buyers, compared to around 60 percent in 2005 and 2006.

· When asked which media respondents use to cross-sell offline buyers online, in addition email promotions and web offers, 32 percent of respondents also use search marketing.

· 50 percent of all respondents report they have fully integrated marketing functions, but between 60 and 70 percent of respondents report being fully integrated in operational, consumer facing functions.

The DMA conducted this survey in April and May of 2008 through an email invitation sent to multichannel companies, including catalog, retail, and internet merchants. When the survey was closed, 106 respondents were included for tabulation.

The report is available for download on DMA’s online bookstore. The cost is $245 for DMA members and $445 for non-members. To purchase, please click here.

NOTE: What the report appears not to address (I haven't seen it) is how many Web customers are driven by marketing efforts represented by the catalog. And even more important is how well Web-based customers are merged with catalog customers to get a true net names count. It is easy to assume that a multi-channel merchant is working from a unified customer database, but we all know that that is far from universally the case....

No comments:

Web Analytics