Multichannel Marketers Integrating Channels; 70% Report Increased Sales

September 12, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Retail & E-Commerce

Nearly 70% of catalog marketers reported increased multichannel sales over the prior year, and 59% reported increased catalog circulation in 2006, according to the Direct Marketing Association’s “Multichannel Marketing in the Catalog Industry” report (via BtoB).

The study – which the DMA said is a road map for best practices and trends in channel integration within the catalog, retail, and e-commerce infrastructures – found that successful multichannel marketers have consistent and integrated standards across all channels, according to the DMA.

“Consumers expect – in whatever channel they opt to use – to interact with one company with integrated systems that are transparent to that consumer. After all, the different channels feed off of each other – a consumer looking at a mail-order catalog, for example, may order online. So the marketer’s channels must all be consistent,” said Anna Chernis, DMA’s senior research manager.

“This view is a major departure from earlier thinking, in which companies thought the internet channel would require different pricing, promotions, and other approaches than the other channels.”

Among the 2007 DMA study’s key findings:

  • Among those surveyed who have mail-order catalogs, 44% of total sales are consummated via the web (vs. mail and telephone), up from 39% in 2005.
  • 33% of respondents say their online sales were “incremental” – i.e., that they would not have received the order without the existence of their website.
  • Respondents whose online sales are increasing reported an overall 20% growth rate.
  • When asked to account for the online sales increase and their positive outlook for 2007, respondents said a symbiotic set of factors – overall economic conditions, overall company growth, and simply better response rates – were the most influential.
  • 45% of respondents said their “website/e-catalog” was their primary marketing channel. This was followed by paper catalog (33%) and retail stores (22%).
  • When asked what offers and promotions they plan to use in 2007, 82% cited email promotions, followed by discounts/special sales (67%), coupons (38%), and prize/sweepstakes promotions (33%).
  • 42% said they plan to use free-shipping offers this year.
  • More than half of all respondents report that they have fully integrated marketing and advertising, product selection, pricing, fulfillment, and shipping and handling policies.
  • 70% of this year’s respondents reported multichannel sales increases over 2005.
  • 59% reported increasing catalog circulation in 2006.

About the study: The survey, conducted with the participation of Epsilon and Haggin Marketing, collected data online from 474 catalog marketers. The report is divided into five chapters: Profile of Respondents and Report Overview, Multichannel Marketing Practices, Sales Results and Strategies, Circulation Planning, and Financial Information.

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