Direct Mail for Online Retailers

When print dominated, the catalogue was king. Visually stimulating, personalised, targeted and response-orientated, it was a real sales-generating channel. With the rise of digital, online is now dominant. A targeted medium, where success can be gauged instantly, personalised offers dynamically created, campaigns optimised easily and buying made simple.

 Today there’s an interesting dynamic – pure play retailers adopting a mailed catalogue to expand their routes to market. While it’s impossible for retailers to ignore online, pure-play businesses are realising they can’t ignore the catalogue.

Any marketing strategy starts with the audience, then the message. Then a plan is built around which channels are needed to reach it. Audiences may be ‘digital-first’ but true omni-channel marketing means you can’t be ‘digital-only’. Online is critical but pure plays are recognising that by ignoring other channels, they are limiting their potential opportunities. 

An omnichannel strategy is different from a multichannel strategy because while multichannel means that a brand is present on different channels, each of these channels are operated in silos, leading to an inconsistent customer experience.

Having an omnichannel strategy in place has multiple benefits. For customers, a brand that provides a seamless experience across channels will always be preferred to one that doesn’t.

Customers will keep going back to brands which offer convenience, ease of use, consistent communication and efficient and personalised service. This boosts brand loyalty and helps a brand turn customers into brand ambassadors and advocates who will promote the brand publicly.

Delivering true engagement

 Today, catalogues are sophisticated vehicles. They balance creativity with insight and targeting and actually bring a brand to life.

 While attention and engagement are key online metrics, a physical catalogue delivers these effectively. It offers a tangible brand experience, drawing people in and telling a story. Layout, size, imagery, paper quality all reflect a brand’s positioning. A catalogue can create an emotional connection, delivering a level of engagement that can’t be replicated by an app or website.

Catalogues also expose people to new things. While online search directs you to what you want to find, a catalogue can be a true source of discovery, introducing you to things you didn’t know about.

In an omnichannel environment, a catalogue impacts both online and offline. It unifies multiple channels, driving sales by putting the customer at the centre. Its overall value in supporting sales and branding is increasingly recognised. This is leading to a renaissance of the printed catalogue, as more online retailers integrate it into their overall strategy.

If you’re looking to explore the value a catalogue can bring to your business, please get in touch enquiriesuk@epsilon.com