How to drive online sales with a printed catalog in 2019 and beyond

In this digital era, businesses mostly prefer online marketing over offline marketing.

This is mainly because it is easier to find customers online. However, the trend for offline marketing is far from over. Catalogs were used as primary marketing tools a couple of years back. Even in this day and age, businesses can boost their sales and enhance their sales with a printed catalog; they are considered as a direct form of marketing.

printed catalog

Catalogs are basically designed to give customers an insight into your business. It consists of all the products and services that you offer, details about all your online and offline stores, and all the contact information.

A catalog can be browsed through at leisure and keep customers engaged in a different manner when compared to other marketing channels. Additionally, with catalogs being easily available in common areas such as cafes, libraries and coffee tables – they have a higher potential to reach out to a wide range of new customers. If you own a business and are trying to boost the sales with a printed catalog, here are some things for you to keep in mind.

Who will your catalog reach out to?

The first thing that you should consider is the audience that will receive your catalog. It is not necessary to send a copy of your print catalog to all your customers. Instead of adding all your products in a single issue, distribute your products into smaller sections for different groups of audience. Understand what your customers are looking for before sending out the catalogs.

For instance, if a certain set of your customers are interested in fashion, it wouldn’t do any good to send them a catalog featuring products from your sports section. Instead of that, sorting your clients and sending them catalogs based on their preferences gives you a higher scope for boosting the sales for your business. This is why it is important to consider the audience that your catalog will reach out to before opting for wholesale catalog printing.

The purpose of a print catalog for your online store

Most online businesses will hesitate to invest in printed catalogs when they could easily choose to use online channels for marketing. That’s where they go wrong.

Catalog printing has proven to be effective and is a great tool to increase sales. Catalogs help kick-start the journey for every customer to finally purchase from your online store. When customers come across products that they like, they immediately pick up their smartphone or laptop to visit your online store. As a matter of fact, catalogs have proven to be more effective than social media.

With a printed catalog, your business adapts a multi-channel approach, which is sure to drive more customers towards your products and online store.

Connects & adds value to the customer

While browsing online, we come across a lot of products and services that grabs our eye. Sometimes, we end up making the purchase immediately, and most of the times, we scroll past it and completely forget it. This is exactly the opposite of how a catalog works.

Customers can pick them up at leisure and go through it in their free time. Catalogs are designed to give possible customers an insight into the products and services that you offer. This way, customers easily connect with your brand. In short, catalogs are a great way to enhance brand awareness as well as add value to the customers.

Things to keep in mind while designing a printed catalog

Stay updated

One of the most vital aspects of designing a catalog is to stay updated. Your customers shouldn’t frequently come across products that are out of stock or not available. Keeping your catalog updated will give customers an idea about all your new products and services. This avoids disappointment and frustration from customers. With an outdated catalog you risk losing out on new and potential customers.

Make use of attractive & apt images

Visuals and images are the first things that naturally attract the human eye. If your catalog is filled with mundane and boring images, there is a high chance of customers losing interest in it. On the other hand, if you use attractive images, customers are automatically drawn towards it. They browse through the catalog without any hesitation. This increases the chances of them buying from your store – hence, enhancing the sales for your business.

Add all contact information

The entire purpose of having a printed catalog is to boost the sales for your business. To do this, make sure that you add all the required contact information for customers to reach out to you through. Add details about your offline stores, online websites, contact numbers, email information and much more. This will make it easier for customers to reach out and place their order through their preferred mode of contact.

Have items in stock

In bulk catalog printing, the one thing that you have to ensure is that most of the items are in stock. Take note of all the items that customers generally order and keep them in stock. Products that you advertise in your catalog have higher chances of being sold compared to the ones that are not featured.

Proper product information

The most important thing to keep in mind while printing a catalog is to make sure that you are giving customers all the proper product information. In professional catalog printing, the product name, number, description, price and all must be apt. The wrong information can be misleading and cause confusion. Double check the product information for each and every item that you plan to feature in your catalog.

A complete experience

While designing a catalog, make sure that customers are able to connect with it. Use catchy titles and attractive images to hold their attention. People tend to easily remember what they saw on a catalog when compared to an online ad. This is mainly because – the look and feel of a catalog naturally stand out in this digital age. So, make sure that your catalog is as attractive as possible for customers to connect with easily. This also increases the chances of customers looking forward to the next issue of your catalog.

Now that we have looked at the advantages and things to keep in mind while designing a catalog, let’s take a look at the things you should avoid while designing a catalog. This will ensure that you convert more customers by avoiding all possible errors.

Things to avoid while designing a printed catalog

Avoid product descriptions in your headline

The whole purpose of a catalog is to intrigue customers towards what you have to offer. If you are going to give away the product description in the headline, then they don’t need to read further. This reduces the interest that a potential customer might have in your products and services. For instance, if your business sells ‘washing machines’ avoid using the terms washing machine in your headline. Instead, you could make use of a catchy title which would be something like “Clean Laundry, Peace of Mind” or “Wear New Clothes Every day with Laundry Made Easy”. This will keep customers intrigued and interested to find out more about your products.

Don’t overdo it

The entire design of your catalog rests upon the images, font style, layout and other such aspects. However, keep in mind to not overdo it just to create an aesthetically pleasing catalog. ‘Less is more’ is a perfect example to define the statement. Make sure that you do not end up incorporating a clutter of images when they are not required. The images should look appealing and should incorporate with the layout and the design. Similarly, avoid mixing typefaces. While choosing the font styles for a page, keep it to a minimum of two or three. Using too many font types is sure to mess with the harmony of your page layout. Keep things as simple and elegant as possible.

Avoid making it monotonous

It is not necessary to follow the same layout on every single page of your catalog. This will result in an extremely boring and monotonous design. Some of the best-selling products warrant a half-page or full-page coverage. You can use these products to break away from repeated layout designs. However, make sure that you don’t overdo this and get your layout all over the place. This will make it difficult for customers to connect with your catalog.

Maintain a certain amount of white space

It is mostly advised to avoid too much white space on your cover or in the pages of your catalog. However, to do this – do not over clutter your catalog. White spaces are like breathing spaces for the eye; having too many elements on a page can get tiring to look at for long. When you maintain the required amount of white space, it makes it easier for customers to differentiate between pictures and paragraphs. Having too much clutter on a page is a sure shot way for customers to lose interest, which can lead to your missing out on major sales.

Adam Smith is a marketing director at Mixam who loves to motivate entrepreneurs and startup holders. He writes for magazines and blogs on topics pertaining to leadership and success. While not at work, he is either on a vacation or binge-watching series on Netflix.