Today, the difference in customer experience between print and online catalogs is becoming larger. Before we address print, what does the digital catalog landscape look like?
- Online catalogs can update, correct, add, delete, and edit, in any way, all of the products.
- If a customer has questions or needs help in any way, they have more venues to receive feedback in a timely manner, because they are already using the medium, the internet. They can contact customer service, use on-site search, do live chats with customer service, #tweet for help, broadcast their favorite products online, get their sister’s opinion on Facebook, etc.
- A personalized experience may exist for the customer on the site, thanks to filtering, accounts, or custom options. This collective data is dynamic, it can change with your customer and they can control it as well.
- Today, a consumer can look at an online catalog on any number of devices in any area they’d like. Before, they might have just been limited to a desktop computer at a desk in their office. That experience may not have been as mobile as a printed catalog, but now mobility is no longer an issue with smartphones and tablets.
- Reading is a passive act, because no matter what the reader wants, they cannot change the printed text and images. But online, the user has choices and can direct their experience. This control makes your consumer feel engaged and empowered.
#1 Mentality Growth
#2 Print is Tangible, Use That
Try putting things in print you can’t easily convey online, like texture, or size. Free People has beautiful catalogs, with amazing fashion photography, and are requested from loyal customers even though they can see the same garments online. The printed piece adds to their brand and to the customer’s experience, heightening their senses. Print excels in its tangible quality, use that for products that need to be exhibited the most. Think rattan, cashmere, rugs, gems, car interiors, food, or perfume-scented paper. A cat litter company even scented their direct mail with catnip, so the cat could get the owner’s attention.
#3 Don’t Get Thrown in the Trash
#4 Test Promotions
#6 Illusion of Control
#7 Secure Credibility
#8 Timing is Everything
#9 Don’t Get Too Trendy