Direct-to-Customer Commerce


Strategic insights into the direct commerce industry, including ecommerce, direct marketing and related fields

Are electronic catalogs an alternative to paper catalogs?

Well, frankly, I don’t know the answer to that.  But as an avid direct marketing buyer, I know I’d rather get an electronic catalog than the collection of paper catalogs I get.  And it’s not because I’m trying to save the trees.  The trees (in reality) don’t need saving.  There are more trees in North America today than there were in 1776.

Web sites are for buying.

Catalogs are for shopping.

I’ve migrated from paper trade magazines to almost all digital trade magazines.  Why not catalogs as well?

Add functionality that let’s me click on any item in the e-catalog to add it to the order form.  Or, add it to my wish list.  Or add it to my gift list.

Like most Lands End buyers, for a long time, I got a catalog every week.  Now, I get an email every day and a catalog only once per quarter or so.  I don’t think I’ve bought as much from Lands End as I used to.  I like to browse thru catalogs — I find things I had not previously thought of buying.  Sure when I need a new pair of jeans, I go to Lands End and buy them.  But there is more that I might buy, if I ran across them in a catalog.

Do you ever wonder if the staff at the largest direct marketing companies are direct marketing buyers?  I kind of doubt it because I feel like they miss what it’s like to be a customer.  And that’s why we don’t have very many electronic catalogs yet.

Maybe soon.


Filed under: Direct Commerce, Ideas, Opinion, , , , ,

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