Are Catalogues Right for your Market
If your organisation is a business to business or business to consumer company, this an indicator of wether producing a catalogue is right for you. Business to business companies tend to have longstanding relationships with their customers.
Their customers will probably have accounts with them where they pay on 30 days or maybe 60 days. The frequency of their purchases from you may vary. They may only purchase a few items over the year, alternatively they may be making regular purchases. If they are only making a small number of purchases over a year and the value is small, it may not be worthwhile sending them a catalogue. If, however, these few sales offer very high value products or alternatively, they make a great many purchases over the year then producing a printed catalogue becomes a very viable option.
All companies these days will have a website, for organisations that sell products it will probably be a transactional e-commerce website. This allows your customers to place orders and organise delivery’s. As we have said, all companies these days will have a website, but not all companies will produce a catalogue of their products, this can therefore give you a very competitive advantage. A catalogue on your customers desk works as a salesman 24/7. Also, many customers find looking through a catalogue easier and more convenient done navigating through a website that contains hundreds or thousands of products.
Your customers will probably visit your website knowing pretty much what it is they are going to purchase. They may look at alternatives of the product they are wishing to buy, to compare features, benefits, and prices. But they are unlikely to then go on looking at other products that maybe they are not considering currently. A printed catalogue on the other hand, will show different products alongside each other and be easier to navigate. Additionally, customers are more likely to look at other products that may lead to an impulse purchase. Or there may be products that they did not know existed and seeing them in the catalogue may prompt them into making a purchase.
Business to Consumer Catalogues
For business to consumer companies producing catalogues can be more complex. Consumers are more likely to shop around and not have brand loyalty. If you have mass market products such as clothing or consumables your target market is vast. This can result in wastage of catalogues unless you have loyal customers. If on the other hand your consumer market is in a niche area such as a sport, hobby, or pastime, you are more likely to generate a loyal customer base. This is in part due to the lack of competition that you will have. Additionally, when dealing with these kind of niche areas your customers will enjoy receiving a catalogue. The catalogue design for these kind of markets results in a better response when it has a magazine feel. Your customers will then retain the publication and keep it on the coffee table and browse through it from time to time. These customers are also far more likely to make impulse purchases.
When you are looking at catalogue design that will be targeting one of these consumer hobby niche markets there are additional considerations in the catalogue production process. You can use the cover of the catalogue so introduce new products, special offers or promotions. If you produce a range of products that are all similar you may wish to highlight one or more of these products as your hero. This can be done by making it a little bigger or adding more colour to the entry. This will then attract your customers I to this product. It maybe a product you make a larger margin on, or alternatively you may have many of these in your warehouse that you are wanting to move on.
Business to Business Catalogues
A business to business catalogue on the other hand, will tend to be more functional like a product directory. The people viewing your products are professionals and will probably be very knowledgeable about the products you offer. Therefore, they will find it more convenient if information is clear, concise and easy for them to make comparisons between a number of products.
This differs from business to consumer catalogue design approaches. As previously mentioned, if you can give your catalogue production a magazine feel customers will browse through at their leisure. To keep them interested in your catalogue you can add editorial, stories that relate to the activity, and lifestyle photography. Stopper pages can also be added. This is a page in the catalogue design process that breaks up the monotony of page after page of products. It catches the customers attention and stops them from getting eye fatigue.
When looking at your catalogue page design, it is also worth looking at the revenue generated from different products. If for example you sell two similar products, but make a bigger margin or sell a lot more of one than the other, you should consider giving more space on the page to your favourite product. This Product to space analysis can generate you more revenue. Additionally, when you increase the space allocation of a big selling product, you also tend to find that its sales increased even further.
There are many companies that can assist you with catalogue design, but there are very few that can be considered specialist catalogue production companies. This is a very specialised activity. Appointing a company with many years’ experience in catalogue design and production will not only ensure your catalogue is designed and produced to the very highest standards, it will also generate the best possible results. Additionally, a specialist catalogue production design company will have systems and software that speed up the process. This will save you time and money and make the whole production process more stress free.
Producing a catalogue can be very time consuming for customers and, a good catalogue design company can advise at the outset on the best way forward.