Grow your business with catalogues

Increase your online sales by putting your brand into the hands of your customers

It’s been 350 years since the first mail order catalogue was published in Britain. Despite being one of the oldest forms of marketing, they’re still a powerful tool for getting your brand in front of your customers.

Read on to discover how catalogues could help grow your business.

Combine offline marketing with online to increase sales

If you sell through your own website or via online marketplaces, you should consider marketing beyond digital channels. Because catalogues can help drive customers online.

Our research* shows:

  • 73% of people performed an action after receiving a catalogue
  • 52% say they buy more than originally intended when shopping with a printed catalogue
  • 49% visited the sender’s website
  • 40% went on to make a purchase

Short-run printing has reduced the cost and complexity of creating different versions of a catalogue. That makes it easy to target different customer segments. As a result, sellers of all sizes can now combine catalogues with an e-commerce site to drive sales.

A distinct form of marketing

Businesses can use catalogues as advanced pieces of content marketing. Fill them with product demonstrations, high quality images, endorsements and reviews and your customers can sit down and browse at their leisure.

In our survey, we discovered that 65% of people enjoy sitting down and looking through a catalogue. Likewise, over four in ten said they would miss catalogues if they no longer received them.

Although retailers produce catalogues to sell goods, they’re unobtrusive compared with other forms of advertising. Customers are free to look through them whenever they want, and for many they act as a source of inspiration.

Royal Mail believed in our product and gave us the confidence that if we got a catalogue out to the right people we would get a response.

James Ginzler, Posh Totty Designs
Posh Totty logo

In fact, customers often look forward to reading catalogues and find shopping with them an enjoyable experience. So, consumers don’t see this type of publication as advertising in the traditional sense. That means they often give them more time and attention as a result. 

Building a strong connection 

Shopping online or in-store can create a choice overload. In contrast, catalogues are quicker to look through. They also often present products with diagrams and illustrations. That provides visual cues that give customers a better idea of how something feels or looks.

  • 63% said it can be easier to browse lots of products using a printed catalogue than online or in-store
  • 75% say catalogues give them ideas of things to do or buy

But it goes deeper than that. Research by Royal Mail with Millward Brown shows materials you can pick up and touch leave a deeper impression on the brain. The weight, texture and physical format of a catalogue appeals to the sense. As a result they deliver a level of engagement that an app or website would struggle to match.

So catalogues help make memories that lead to positive brand associations. In today’s digitally saturated world, this quality is effective at grabbing the attention of customers and building an emotional connection.

Creating top-of-mind awareness

While researching a purchase, people can choose between several retailers with a similar product or service. So creating brand awareness is a key factor in retaining existing customers, reactivating lapsed ones and converting enquirers.

A catalogue can help drive sales and get customers who actually want to talk to someone, to pick up the phone and place an order.

Nick Bastian, Susie Pringle
Susie Pringle logo

Catalogues can help here too. People keep catalogues in the home; you can hold them, write in them, put them down, pick them up later and share them with friends. In fact, 86% of people surveyed said they keep catalogues for a period of time.

Sending a catalogue is like putting a shop window in your customers’ homes. As markets get more competitive, quality catalogues – filled with engaging content – offer all types of retailer a great platform to gain a competitive edge.

Growing your business with catalogues

We can help you get started with catalogues. Our team and carefully selected partners can answer all the critical questions. From planning and timings, to design and layout, we’re here to help grow your business with the power of catalogues.

To learn about putting your brand in the hands of your customers:

*Sources: Royal Mail MarketReach, Growing your business with Catalogues, 2017