Paper Catalogs to Remain Part of Marketer Strategy

Despite the nearly continuous media coverage on new marketing formats like social networking, one traditional ad strategy catalogcontinues to influence shopping behavior: Paper catalogs.  The Third Annual Holiday Shopping Survey from Baynote contains great insights about what sources consumers are really using when they shop. Marketers will be using this information during the year and upcoming holiday season to determine how to allocate their media spending — both traditional and digital.

The top level findings from the Baynote survey show that consumers find the following sources most influential for both online and in-​store purchases:

  • Online rates and reviews 33%
  • Google search 26%
  • Email promotions 25%
  • Paper catalogs 22%

For now, social media as a purchase influence channel lags behind. Pinterest, Twitter, and mobile all came in at 10% and Facebook reached 15%.

Once consumers decide what they’ll purchase, other factors play a role in where they’ll actually spend their money. Not surprisingly, final price and free shipping both sway 85% of decision-​making. After that, consumers consider merchant reputation 78%, product reviews 71%, return policy 65%, and loyalty/​rewards programs 47%.

Mobile is an emerging channel but it’s important to remember that as more consumers own tablets, they are using these devices to browse and complete transactions. They are even bringing the devices into stores, finding them easier to use than smartphones for tasks like product research and coupon searches.

Dan Darnell, VP of Marketing, Baynote, notes the importance of maintaining an omnichannel presence when advertising.  The message from this survey seems to be that marketers should make sure they are present in multiple advertising channels in order to raise consumers awareness and to increase their odds of capturing the sale.

[Source: 3rd Annual Holiday Online Shopping Survey. Baynote​.com. 8 Jan. 2013. Web. 30 Jan. 2013]


Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.