Catalog and Direct Selling: Improve Your Catalog Inch by Inch
Mary Engelbreit is an artist who licenses her designs for product development—she has six distinct, popular designs. By creating a SQUINCH sorted by those six designs, the direct marketing creative team knows which designs to feature. So, in this case, a product sort will tell you not only which products to feature, but also which design will garner the most response.
6. Find opportunities to create a prospect version of your catalog. By creating an analysis of what first-time buyers purchase versus repeat customers, you might discover distinct buying behaviors. While it’s not always profitable to create an entire prospect catalog, you can create an inexpensive cover or outer four-page version. When reviewing this type of analysis, always look at demand over profitability to entice prospects to try out your most popular products. However, if you can select popular and profitable products, even better!
7. Measure the success of editorial sidebars. For instance, catalogers have learned that using non-selling, but relevant content alongside a product or product grouping engages customers emotionally, creating a buying atmosphere and enhancing the brand. Most catalogers allocate editorial space evenly across all products, but if the editorial content is closely related to a specific merchandise concept or product, it might make sense to allocate the given space accordingly. If the results do not look good, review the content and make sure it was engaging and, most of all, relevant to the products on that spread.
Also, keep in mind that in some cases, editorial sidebars consistently displayed throughout a catalog are there to support the overall brand message. So, allocating them to one product may not be a fair assessment.
Are you taking advantage of your SQUINCH analysis? Are you just using it in a single dimension—perhaps by product only? As you can see, this powerful tool can be used in many ways depending on your merchandise category and concept. While it’s always a worthwhile tool for guiding merchandisers and pagination, it packs just as much power when guiding your creative efforts.