Does Flow Matter for Catalog Pagination?

Over the last few years, we have been working with several internet pure play companies who are just getting into cataloging. One of the things I’ve noticed is they are very focused on the flow of the catalog. I think that coming from the internet they really value a narrative, because it’s really hard to […]

Ignorance gone to seed

My friend Lois shared a bit of Ozark wisdom with me a while back. Whenever the Trader Joe’s weekly mailer comes in it springs to mind. If you haven’t seen the Trader Joe’s weekly flyer, it looks like a throwback to 1865, one color, printed on newsprint, no images, everything the same size. But in […]

Part 1: August 18th is National Mail Order Catalog Day

August 18th is National Mail Order Catalog Day! What? Yes, it’s a day dedicated to catalogers everywhere. Seriously. Not kidding. As a catalog consultant, I often tell clients that cataloging is in my blood. Part of my DNA. I recall my first real job after I graduated from college: Macauley’s Office Supply in Detroit, Michigan. […]

So what should you cut from your budget?

We got a great question this week about photography, but it’s bigger than just photography. This time of year, the nice folks in the big offices, make budgets for the coming year and look for things to cut. It’s a great practice, and keeping things lean keeps things profitable. But creative is a bit of […]

Matte Paper

  Hallelujah! A creative director called me and said that the matte paper they’ve been using isn’t showing off the product…darker items look like ink blobs. I smiled from ear to ear. While still smiling, I replied that the catalogs from the prior year were printed on a coated (glossy) stock. The team could quickly […]

Is sending something less relevant, better than sending nothing?

There in lies the conundrum for marketers, especially email marketers. If you send nothing, you get nothing back. If you send something that isn’t relevant, you get some sales but you also get unsubscribes, which are worse than nothing. Is sending something less relevant, usually discounts, better than sending nothing? That depends. I have heard […]

What matters most in catalog design?

If there is one thing that will move the needle in catalog design, one thing that makes more impact than anything else, the thing that really makes the cash register ring, it’s product knowledge. There is no better thing to spend your time on than really, truly understanding what you are selling and why it […]

Shipping charges and STDs

Shipping charges are making a come back. The glow of free shipping is giving way to the reality that advertising lower prices works, offers a very real advantage online, and allows more flexibility in promotions. Free shipping was never really free, and making the numbers work with free shipping all the time isn’t possible for […]

You’re Smarter. Avoid the Reduction in Revenue.

How to avoid a plunge in revenue. Stories from the trenches. In the past three years I’ve seen these three things happen to more than one client. Don’t be next. I write this as a perspective to any cataloger who is considering one of these paths. Email is not a 1:1 replacement for the mail […]

Yo Creatives, Your Job is Safe from Robots

If you are in the creative department, your job is safe for a good long while. Research scientist, and AI provocateur, Janelle Shane used artificial intelligence to try and name paint colors. She fed the AI 7700 Sherwin Williams color samples. Below are her results.   Enjoy your holiday weekend, secure in the knowledge that your future […]