Last year, people downloaded over 197 billion apps. This statistic alone proves that today you need to evolve to survive.
Retail companies have had to adapt fast through these recent digital marketing trends in order to stay alive.
Website downloads alone are increasing rapidly while print media reached a low of only 35 million print circulation in 2016.
So how are retail companies expected to keep up with the high demand from consumers on the internet?
The answer is digital catalogs.
The ability to search the catalog for a company’s product collection is truly changing the game.
Never heard of a digital catalog? Here are 7 reasons why digital catalogs are going to change the retail industry.
1. Analytical Capabilities
In the digital marketing bubble, analytics are the key to discovering the best strategies for the company.
Print catalogs do not account for all of the “unique readers” (those who read it more than once), just the initial sale.
Is the initial sale enough information to determine if the strategy was flawless? NO!
Can you imagine how many times a single printed catalog is reviewed the day before Black Friday? Neither can the retail industries if they only print their catalogs.
Consumer behaviors when interacting with the catalog is a huge part in understanding whether or not the products are enticing, the descriptions make sense, the layout is functional, etc.
There would be no company without the consumers so it is important to take time to analyze their interactions.
2. Better Mobile Experience
As shared earlier in the article, technology is an essential part of many consumers’ day to day lives.
They spend the morning on their phone while getting ready for the day…so use that to your advantage!
If your catalog is not mobile friendly, it will not be used much more than your printable one.
Take the time to find the right platform for your business and test its mobile version.
61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble with. 40% of those people will visit a competitor’s site instead.
By allowing access to your catalog on a smartphone, you have instantly increased your click through rate and saved a customer from purchasing a competitor’s product.
3. Increase Potential Reach
Email marketing, social media ad’s, and new instagram stories are all effective ways for retargeting existing customer’s, but they do not guarantee unique visitors.
For a retail company, each product is very different and reaches a specific target audience. The Auchan catalog is known for their ability to reach wide ranges of customers.
For example, a nice pair of blue jeans could be targeted towards a 22 year old trendy but classic working woman. If you cut a hole in those jeans, you could potentially lose the original consumer but get a 22 year old college student’s attention.
Not to say that a working woman would not want a hole in her jeans or that a college girl needs one, but the example illustrates that two similar people may not want the same product.
It is as simple as that.
Providing a platform that shows both pairs of jeans side by side with two different models displaying them can increase the potential for a wider demographic.
When two products are compared to each other side by side, they are easier to compare and decide between.
Yes, stay true to your company’s values, but don’t be scared to take a step into the unknown.
4. Dynamic Linking
This isn’t a normal printed magazine we are talking about. Your digital catalog should have links that “add item to cart” or “view item” or “add to wishlist”.
They have internal linking capabilities that allow you to redirect your consumers to the product they click on, straight to their shopping cart, or to items similar but in a different color.
Consumers will not stay on your site for long if the purchasing process is difficult.
Keep them interested by having each of your products within the catalog, link to the product or an internal “about” page where they can learn more about the company and its products.
5. You Can Edit a Digital Catalog in Real-time
You can edit an online catalog.
Once a printed catalog is purchased and delivered to the customer, there is no turning back.
The dynamic capabilities of fresh and new content makes it exciting for a customer because they never know when to stop checking in!
Run out of royal blue sweat pants? Remove the color option in the catalog until you restock! No need to confuse your potential customers.
Additional edits can also be a huge success when it comes to staying current with new trends.
6. Impress Through Branding
A consumer should only have to look at your website for up to 5 seconds before knowing who you are, what you sell, and if they are going to be a frequent visitor.
Want to know how they can tell? Your branding.
The latest trends have been velvet, statement sleeves, wedges, and pastel colors. These should have been incorporated in your last catalog.
Digital catalogs are trending for retail companies due to the ability to impress a consumer visually.
Does your website currently impress consumers? Replicate your unique brand in your digital catalog for a cohesive customer experience.
7. Increase Rank in Google Search
If you want your company to come up first when typing “Cute purple sundress” than you better have a digital catalog with a cute purple sundress in it.
The ability to increase your rank on google search is mostly based on keywords that are found on your website.
Hosting it on your website gives you another platform to do just that.
Not only will your catalog pull up with an increase in SEO tips, but your website is more likely to come up, as well, since it is a direct link in your catalog and has similar keywords.
Try It Out!
With the statistics rapidly increasing for digital downloads and mobile viewership, it is not surprising that implementing a digital catalog is an effective route for retailers to take in the upcoming months.
Be the trendsetter and adapt this new strategy that can satisfy your consumers’ needs and increase your overall viewership.