September 12, 2007, 12:00 AM

The channel is definitely shifting among catalogers, says a new DMA report

44% of catalogers’ orders are consummated on web sites, up from 39% a year ago, says a report from the Direct Marketing Association. In addition, 33% believe their online sales are orders they would not have received without a web site.

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

44% of catalogers’ orders are consummated on web sites, up from 39% a year ago, says the latest “Multichannel Marketing in the Catalog Industry” report from the Direct Marketing Association. In addition, 33% believe their online sales are orders they would not have received without a web site.

A plurality (45%) also reported that their web site/e-catalog was their primary marketing channel, while 33% said the paper catalog was primary and 22%, retail stores. 474 marketers participated in the survey, which the DMA conducted along with marketing companies Epsilon Data Management, a unit of Alliance Data Systems Inc., and Haggin Marketing Inc.

The report also says:
• Respondents whose online sales are increasing reported an average 20% growth rate.
• In the remainder of this year, 82% plan to drive sales using e-mail promotions, 67%, discounts/special sales, 38%, coupons, and 33%, prize/sweepstakes promotions.
• 42% plan to offer free shipping.
• More than half of all respondents report they have fully integrated marketing and advertising, product selection, pricing, fulfillment, and shipping and handling policies.
• 59% report increasing catalog circulation in 2006.

“We found a prevailing belief among large, successful catalog retailers that fully integrating customer-facing functions is just smart business,” says Anna Chernis, DMA’s senior research manager. “Consumers expect - in whatever channel they opt to use - to interact with one company with integrated systems that are transparent to that consumer. This view is a major departure from earlier thinking, in which companies thought the Internet channel would require different pricing, promotions, and other approaches than the other channels.”

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