Earlier this week, I mentioned that I’d already completed the majority of my holiday shopping, thereby saving myself from the hustle and bustle of busy stores in December. For most people, the hunt for the perfect gift in a crowded store, followed by a long wait in a line-up, is the least enjoyable part of the festive season. Even your favorite shops are likely to be points of frustration and resentment when they’re filled with other holiday shoppers.
This year, I opted to do most of my shopping online and via catalog, and I’m not alone. The catalog industry itself is a multi-billion dollar market, and increasing in popularity as the aging Boomer generation looks for alternatives to in-store shopping. And yet, many businesses prefer to put their faith in a combination of weekly flyers and e-commerce portals, neglecting the importance of a printed listing of products for sale, with easy ordering by phone.
ToysRUs did an excellent job this year, opting to spend advertising dollars not on one particular product or toy, but instead marketing the excitement of receiving their annual toy catalog. They’re listening to their audience, and they know that hours spent by children pouring over pictures of their favorite toys will result in huge sales for the business; all with reduced overhead cost in in-store staffing AND with a boost to branding.
This year, consider if a well-timed catalog will help you leverage not only increased store traffic, but also reduce staffing costs and increase sales. Certainly my Christmas shopping experience this year – at home, in front of the fire with a cup of hot chocolate and a stack of catalogs – was the best I’ve ever had.