December 04, 2008

Catalog Loyalty

We're in the final days of my monthly survey ... "When was the last time you ordered merchandise because a catalog was mailed to you?" The question does not imply phone or web channels, it asks when you last purchased because a catalog was mailed to you.

Go to the website to vote ... your vote counts!

Results, to-date.
  • About 1/3 of this biased audience purchased in the past ninety days because a catalog was mailed to you.
  • About 1/3 purchased a long time ago.
  • About 1/3 of you do not shop catalogs, you prefer e-commerce.
If one-third of a pro-catalog audience does not shop catalogs, then how many of our customers do not shop catalogs?

If there is one sentence that describes the typical consulting project I currently work on, it is this: "Please review my customer file, and identify loyal customers who do not shop catalogs anymore, so that I can stop mailing catalogs to these customers". This is probably the best use of Multichannel Forensics.

We're at a really important inflection point in the evolution of a "multichannel" business. We now have three customer segments.
  • Loyal customers who love catalogs, purchasing merchandise over the telephone.
  • Loyal customers who love catalogs, purchasing merchandise online or in stores.
  • Loyal customers who buy from our websites and stores and don't care for paper advertising.
There's a lot of profit to be had by identifying customers who reside in the latter group.