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CATALOGUE & PRINT ☛ WEB VERSION: Click Here


• They are possibly not segmenting their customers to identify the web customers that don’t need a catalogue to purchase.


• Or, they have very few web customers at all, forcing them to keep mailing catalogues to grow.


• They have a weak website and/or they have always emphasized calling in an order. They probably still have an order form.


• They have an older customer for whom the catalogue still resonates.


It also usually means that they have a very weak on-line prospecting program, if they have one at all. They may have an ad program on Google but are doing little else to generate online awareness. This may sound absurd to some of you, but it is still the norm in many companies.


Conversely, because they are still catalogue dependent, they still prospect for new


customers with the catalogue. When they order prospect names for catalogue mailings, they specifically omit “pure web buyers” on their rental lists. Or the co-ops are suppressing pure web buyers from their models because they don’t respond to catalogues, which is after all what you want the names from co-ops to do – respond to your catalogue.


These companies have built a feedback loop that doesn’t treat web shoppers well. The few web buyers these mailers do generate are weak performers when mailed a subsequent catalogue, so they dismiss “online prospecting” as a viable growth option because these customers don’t respond to the catalogue.


They did this in part because they knew they had an older customer and they expected that customer to always want to order with the catalogue, probably via the phone. However, we all know that


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the pandemic has changed ordering patterns. One thing it has also done is made older customers more comfortable online. So, don’t automatically assume that because your customer is 60+ or 70+ that they will always use a catalogue.


If you’re generating less than 50 per cent of your new buyers online, you are not putting enough emphasis there. Some of you who long ago passed that threshold and who now generate more than 80 per cent of your customers online are scratching your heads wondering why other companies are not following your lead. But every company is on a different trajectory and there are still some mailers doing very well with traditional prospecting using rental/co-ops names and mailing a catalogue.


The flip side to their experience is that they do well when they mail a catalogue to their


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