Are Catalogs Still Relevant in the Digital Age?

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Cozied up by the fireplace with a cup of coffee, Sarah reaches across the table — over the iPad, past the smartphone and far away from hercomputer — and grabs for something heavier, more colorful and something that takes more than just a few clicks to get through. Sarah is about to open and flip through a print catalog from a retailer.

It’s true, of course, that e-commerce has disrupted nearly every aspect of retail and how retailers conduct business and attract consumers. But there’s one thing e-commerce can’t re-create, the full-on visual experience that a consumer has when picking up the 50, 100 or 150 page, high-gloss store catalog. A print medium that has stood the test of time when other print mediums are collapsing right and left. But what’s different is that instead of picking up the phone and calling in an order, like Sarah did (if she is old enough) in the old days, she’s going to the store, or online to make her purchase. And what’s driven her to do that is the experience – visual and tactile – that the catalog has created for her.

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