Is a Catalogue Right for your Business?

Two people reviewing new printed Catalogue - Featured

Is a Catalogue Right for your Business?

Two people reviewing new printed Catalogue

Catalogues are a great sales tool for businesses. They can work as a salesman for your company 365 days a year. They also make purchasing a much simpler process for your customers, so they are more likely to choose your products rather than your competitors if you have a well-designed catalogue.

Catalogue production will always give you a competitive advantage over your competitors who do not produce one. These days, all companies have a website, but the digital marketplace is saturated. However, catalogue design and production are not undertaken by many companies. The time involved and the expense can be prohibitive for some companies but done correctly a catalogue can become a company’s best-selling tool.

Article Contents

Catalogue Production for Different Industries

For some industries a catalogue is essential. Take for instance plant hire. Companies involved in hiring out industrial equipment to builders will all produce catalogues. This is because their customers, or builders, who are on site, using a website is at best very difficult, possibly even impossible. Also, as previously mentioned all their competitors will produce a catalogue so they would be unable to compete without one.

On the other hand, a company that sells mass market products to a consumer market, like mid-priced clothing, producing a catalogue may not be suitable. The reason for this is that their target market consists of many millions of potential customers and producing catalogues for all these would be far too expensive. If, however, your clothing catalogue was for a niche market, for example skateboard clothing or walking clothing, those markets much more focused allowing you to better target them. The customers in those markets would also find sourcing those products more difficult than ordinary clothing they can get in the high street, again making the catalogue production a much more realistic option.

Stack of newly printed Catalogues

Catalogue for Niche Markets

Merlin Motorsport Brochure spread against stack of tyres

Catalogue design for consumer niche markets has always produced great results. Companies can build up a strong and loyal customer base who look forward to receiving their catalogue. Catalogue production for these kinds of customer is generally done with the catalogue design having a magazine feel. Interesting editorial features can be added to the content with the catalogue design done in a way that allows for the use of large colourful lifestyle pictures. When this is done correctly the customer will retain the catalogue and keep it on their coffee table alongside their magazines. When the catalogue arrives with the customer, they may not be wishing to make a purchase at that particular time, but if they retain the catalogue and browse through it at a later date it may come at a time when they already to buy your products.

Maximise Your Customer Data

Building up your customer database allows you to continually stay in contact with your customers via your catalogue production. This builds loyalty and revenue for your company all year round. You may have loyal customers who purchase from you on a regular basis, however, there may be customers that have not bought from you for a while.

You can look at your database and assess which customers have not purchased from you for a period of time, then you can send them a catalogue with a discount card or special offer. This is known as a customer reactivation campaign the aim of this is of course, to reactivate the relationship between you and these particular lapsed customers. Once they have purchased from you again it is hoped that they can revert back to being a good loyal customer making regular purchases.

Alternatively, by looking at your customers purchase patterns you can put specific catalogues together targeted at separate groups of customers.

Hand with magnifying glass searching through customer database

These may be customers that are interested in certain product ranges, but not all of your items, the catalogues will obviously contain the products that have been previously shown to be of interest to them. By cutting out unwanted products your catalogue production costs can be reduced by printing less unwanted pages.

Internal Resources

Another consideration before undertaking a catalogue production project is looking at your internal resources. Compiling all the product information including pictures, descriptions, product codes, and prices etc can be time consuming if this is not already held within a product information management system.

Also, as part of the catalogue design process the pagination of the pages needs to be agreed. This involves dividing the catalogue into sections and then deciding which products will appear on which page. The catalogue design can be done in a way that has the same number of products on every page or designed on a page-by-page basis. Therefore, some high value products may have a page on their own or even a double page spread, whereas low value products can be grouped together with many of them on a single page.

Catalogue production is generally undertaken by the marketing department of a company. However, if your organisation does not have a marketing department another person will need to be appointed.

Clients reviewing product data and Catalogue page pagination

As previously mentioned, this can be a time-consuming exercise and the person, or people appointed need to have a good eye for detail. Wherever possible the person compiling the information and content should try and get the detail right first time. If you are outsourcing your catalogue production to a specialist catalogue design company, getting the information right first time, with as few changes as possible, can save you a great deal of money. Catalogue design companies charge for the time it takes to produce a catalogue, therefore by getting the information right first time they spend less time on corrections amendments and additions.

That Difficult First Catalogue

Stack of newly printed Catalogues/Brochures

Producing a first catalogue is often the most challenging. The people working on the catalogue within your organisation will need to learn the process and pull together all the information together for the first time. The good news is that’s when this first edition is completed the next version will probably just be an updated version. Therefore, many of the products will be the same, possibly with price changes and obsolete products removed and new products added.

For more information on our services, or to discuss your exact requirements with one of our expert design team, feel free to get in touch.

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