April 28, 2005, 12:00 AM

How consumers use online catalogs

The average viewer of an online catalog looks at 34 pages and sees more than 150 products, according to research just completed by Rich FX, a provider of rich media that enables online catalogs.

 

The average viewer of an online catalog looks at 34 pages and sees more than 150 products, according to research just completed by Rich FX Inc., a provider of rich media that enables online catalogs. Rich FX gathered its data from monitoring consumers’ behavior over five quarters at more than 250 sites that host Rich FX online catalogs. The average viewer of an online catalog looks at it for just under 7 minutes.

The average purchase is also higher among online catalog users, although Rich FX has not been able to identify the cause-effect link there, says Christophe Cremault, Rich FX vice president of marketing, who will present the results of the study at the Annual Catalog Conference next month in Orlando, FL. On the one hand, online catalogs may be creating a higher ticket because they allow shoppers to view more products, Cremault says. On the other hand, online catalogs may simply appeal more to shoppers pre-disposed to spending more, he says.

In addition, the Rich FX study reports that 58% of retailers with online catalogs promote them via e-mail. Such promotions have been successful, Cremault says. “Feedback from our customers shows that often these are among their most successful e-mail marketing campaigns,” Cremault says, although he wouldn’t provide details.

Not surprisingly, users of online catalogs connect to the Internet at higher speeds than non-users. 82% connect via broadband during the week-not unexpected since most weekday shopping takes place online-but 72% connect via broadband on weekends, when access is usually from home. About 50% of US homes are equipped with broadband.

 

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