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Catalogues finish fourth in national marketing mix

Wednesday, 10 July 2013
By Print 21 Online Article
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The Australian catalogue industry has come in at fourth place in the multichannel marketing mix, according to new data released in the Annual Catalogue Industry Report 2012/2013, which was released on 10 July.

According to the report, the local catalogue industry represents around AU$1.5 billion to the local market and is ranked among the most useful by consumers when making purchase decisions.

It is also estimated that catalogues reach 18.25 million Australians each week, with 66 per cent of the population aged 14 and over reading catalogues and 73 per cent aged 50 plus reading printed catalogues, compared to only eight per cent viewing online. Catalogues are also considered more trustworthy than the internet by consumers, according to the report.

Kellie Northwood (pictured), executive director of the Australian Catalogue Association (ACA), said the report is an important step for the catalogue industry in presenting evidence in support of its place in performance along analysis and reporting alongside more traditional marketing platforms such as television and radio.

“We’ve always known the relative size and popularity of the catalogue industry, but this is significant because there is real data behind why retailers invest so much in catalogues and why consumers find them so useful,” she said. “Catalogue volumes have achieved a record high in production numbers, reaching 8.2 billion in 2012 as the confidence in catalogue effectiveness continues for retailers.”

Grocery and discount variety stores are the most prominent users of catalogues, with the pharmacy, auto, hardware, take-away, utilities, fashion and outdoor industries showing a strong increase in catalogue volumes in the 2012 financial year.

“Catalogues are reaching 18.25 million Australians every week, which is a testament to their effectiveness and popularity,” said Northwood. “For consumers, the inherent value of catalogues remains the same – they are engaging, tactile and effective. For retailers, catalogues provide the opportunity to communicate both product and brand messages to an undistracted audience.”

According to the report, women remain the highest readership across all categories, excluding automotive, while the largest catalogue readership was within department and discount variety stores and supermarket promotions.

“This is reflective of catalogues’ value, in that they are read and utilised by the main purchaser of household goods,” said Northwood.

Data collected by Roy Morgan from January to December 2012 asking Australians to rank the media most useful when making purchasing decisions, revealed that catalogues ranked in the top three across 17 of the 28 categories.

The industry report incorporates the findings of AMP Capital’s Shopping Intent Report 2012, which concludes that the medium with the highest level of influence on shopper purchases remains the catalogue, ahead of television and search engines.

This is apparent even among young shoppers, with 28 per cent of 18-24 year olds and 30 per cent of 24-34 years old nominating the catalogue as their first preference.

Across all population segments, catalogues are considered more trustworthy than the internet, excluding ‘youthful digilovers’ who view catalogues equally as trustworthy as internet advertising.

A Sydney University study of in-store radio versus catalogue advertising revealed that significant increases in sales volumes can be achieved through advertising weekly specials in a catalogue.

Of the five products studied, catalogue advertising was shown to increase sales revenue by 290 per cent over the period of the campaign. For every $1 spent on the catalogue, an additional $14.70 in sales was generated.

“Catalogues have tremendous cut-through when compared to other platforms. However, we’ve always maintained that they are best utilised as part of the multi-channel offering alongside other mediums such as TV, radio and digital,” said Northwood.

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