Catalog Choice continued

I have been diligent about entering my catalogs in to the system of Catalog Choice daily.  I realized that we got a lot of catalogs but entering them in hits home.  I probably enter in 5 a day.  That makes about 25 catalogs a week.  So far I have received some that I had already opted out of but I am hoping that was a one month mistake.

I have read that Catalog Choice has been inundated with people which is great news.  Millions of people choosing to opt out of their catalog.  What has been incredibly frustrating is the new catalogs that we have received this year where and their mantra is "buy green".  How crazy is that?  In the past week I have received two catalogs all about buying "green" products.  If the catalog is so green why are they buying lists and sending catalogs in the mail?  Why aren’t they being truly green and figure out new strategies on line to create a new and interested customer base.  Think about how many catalogs go through the USPS every day?  No wonder the cost of stamps continually go up.  Take out every catalog that goes to each home across America and you are talking about a significant amount of junk mail. 

Where are the catalog people on this?  When will their marketing team come out with new ways to set their sales goals vs. the 3% hit they might get through the catalogs in the mail.  This is no different than any of the industries.  As times change, it is hard not to go back to what has worked in the past and just continue with that mode. Golden Handcuffs. Change is hard. The music industry has attempted with a full court press for years to just get customers to do what they always did, buy Cd’s.  Guess what, they don’t anymore.  They down load the music off the web which is BTW, green, no discs and unfortunately don’t pay for their pure listening enjoyment.  Some do, others don’t.  The music industry is still figuring out how to turn their listeners into dollars.  Perhaps if they had been more embrasive of the trends vs. bucking the system, they wouldn’t be in the position they are today which is attempting to turn eachs song into revenue dollars.

People in the retail business who send out catalogs in bulk should take a cue from the music industry, if you don’t change, your business will suffer.  Be on the cutting edge and come up with clever strategies to reach customers that might make the next purchase through the web.  There are plenty of companies on the web that can figure out who your customer is and their habits.  There are many new and exciting sites where the user base is growing.  Advertise on them.  Figure out who their customer is and perhaps there is a match made in heaven.  Being more precise about the customer base on the web will more than likely save lots of dollars on catalogs and create higher margins in the end. Use the web, strategize with companies who understand customer habits online and keep the dump of paper out of the system.