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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : March 26, 2013

Consumers prefer glossy print catalogs to social media as shopping info source

Think that consumers have turned away from print marketing? Think again. Two new studies reveal that print catalogs resonate with consumers more than their online counterparts or social media.

by Helen Leggatt

A new survey conducted in the U.S. by Baynote and The E-tailing Group and reported by MarketingProfs, found that glossy, branded print catalogs influence shoppers looking to make an on- or offline purchase more than social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, or mobile ads.

Respondents cited online reviews and ratings as the most influential source of information for making an online (33%) or offline (24%) purchase with Google search results coming in second (online 26%, offline 19%). In third place was email promotions (25% online, 19% offline).

However, print catalogs were favored as the most influential information source among 22% of shoppers buying online and 21% of those buying offline. This is more than all of the major social media sources including Facebook (15%/12%), Twitter (10%/10%), and Pinterest (10%/9%). Even mobile ads were considered influential by just 10% of online shoppers and 11% of offline shoppers.

Another survey, this time conducted in Australia by the Australian Catalogue Association, found that the majority (70%) prefer print catalogs to online and that just 11% of Australians read catalogs online.

Furthermore, two-thirds of younger Australians, aged 24-35, prefer print catalogs compared to just 15% that prefer online.

"There are great assumptions that the younger generations are more likely to purchase from digital marketing campaigns or online catalogs, however all the global research conducted doesn't support this," said Australian Catalogue Association director Kellie Northwood. "People retain messaging and engage more intimately with paper-based communications - catalogs are no different."

According to the Australian Catalogue Association, Australian retailers spend about $1.5 billion per year on producing print catalogs, which represents about 60% of their advertising spend.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: Australia, catalog marketing, consumer survey, online shopping, print catalogs, print marketing, purchase influence, social media, U.S.

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