May 15, 2024

Mini-Assortment

Well, some of these recent articles (communities) (prohibitive catalog costs) are really resonating with readers, nearly 10,000 views across platforms. It has become very obvious that e-commerce brands are feeling advertising pressure (Facebook, Google), and legacy brands (i.e. those with a catalog heritage) see the end of their craft on the horizon (not because it doesn't work ... because it costs too much) ... heck, even the ACMA removed the word "catalog" from their name.



Be careful listening to the responses of the paper / printing / postage folks, and the boutique agencies they own. The messages I'm seeing from that world are not aligning with your emails to me. You are preparing for the future. They ... and if I were in their shoes I'd be in a tough spot, want to protect their short-term future. As a result, the messaging is fully opposite. I'm not sure I've seen it be more opposite in the 17 years I've run my consultancy.

You are looking to combat ridiculous marketing inflation. You are looking at what you sell. You've figured out you are a merchant, you are not an omnichannel brand doing everything the same way in every channel. You've learned that "channels" will inevitably let you down. The wild ride of the past 4+ years taught you that what you sell is far more important than how you sell it.

You are now realizing that, within each channel, you sell what I call a "mini-assortment" ... yes, you sell everything, but your customers have preferences. Understanding the "mini-assortment" of each channel helps you understand what to feature, what products generate long-term/valuable customers, it helps you understand what your purpose is in a world where third parties charge too much for the channels they promote.

We'll talk more about mini-assortments going forward. They may well be the story of 2024.

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