June 20, 2010

Dear Catalog CEOs: Crutchfield

Dear Catalog CEOs:

Many of our loyal readers forwarded this link from Harry Joiner, a noted E-Commerce Recruiter ... it is a video showing the new 3D catalog from Crutchfield. Click below to watch is video:


I know, I know ... you are going to tell me all of the reasons why this won't work. You'll tell me how you tried something like this back in 2002 on a CD that you sent to a customer and that didn't work.

Give Crutchfield two points for having the courage to innovate, to try something different. Couple that with the Catholic Church and their use of the iPad, and you starting to see the early seeds of the stuff that will replace e-commerce.

And rest assured, e-commerce is dying (I can hear the screams from all across America right now as I write this in the cloudy, gloomy 54 degree Pacific Northwest). Sure, customers will always shop online. But traditional e-commerce, where you depend upon Google to act as a traffic light for brands willing to drive on the information superhighway, the form of commerce where you physically visit a website and drill up and down and plunk items in shopping carts and measure clicks and conversions, that form of commerce is dying.

Why not be like Crutchfield, and at least try something different? Why not create a new channel?


  1. Great piece, Kevin. It does seem to me, though, that not many business channels really "die."

    People have been predicting the "death" of catalogs for a decade...but I bet there's one in my mailbox when I get home. Same for TV advertising, radio advertising, and brick and mortar retail.

    Some of this stuff seems to require a generation of shoppers to die off before the channel truly fades away. As some smart speaker said recently--I think it was you, in fact--there are still people sending order forms in the mail with a check.

    People like new and different ways of shopping, but I think many people will stick with whatever works for them and is comfortable.

    New innovations like shopping apps may become popular, but I think they'll just be one more channel retailers have to support; I don't think they'll replace anything. And not only does each new channel require work to manage, as we all know, they also add another level of complexity for those who like to drive by "the numbers."

  2. On Wednesday, we'll address (and confirm) your comments!

  3. Anonymous4:28 PM

    When i saw '3-d catalog' I thought - oh a more engaging online version of Scene 7 and the like....but this was just a gimmicky cover!

  4. Thanks for your feedback, Anonymous.


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