DMA Releases 16th Annual 'State of the Catalog Industry'; 62% Use Catalogs as Primary Sales Channel
August 21, 2008 — The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) yesterday released the “State of the Catalog Industry, 2008 edition.” Now in its 16th year, the report has continued to evolve since its first publication. There have been numerous changes in technology, techniques, and the industry as a whole. DMA’s survey and report has changed accordingly, although its purpose to present baseline metrics for companies who sell goods to consumers and businesses from a remote location, has remained the same.
“Since the report’s inception, DMA has surveyed and benchmarked the catalog industry as it has expanded from a single channel to the multichannels we see today,” said Anna Chernis, senior research manager. “Because of DMA’s consistent approach, we are able to present trend data over the last three to five years regarding multichannel issues, and have enhanced the overall value of the report with the participation of Abacus.”
This year, as well as last year, Abacus has participated in this report by providing a detailed analysis of the billions of transactional records from 100 million households in their Abacus Alliance database, summarized in the report’s Appendix.
“Most of our respondents continue to use catalogs as their dominant or secondary channel of marketing and sales,” continued Chernis. “And our data suggests a consensus among successful marketers that there are consistent and integrated standards across all channels, as virtually all use some form of Internet marketing to supplement their catalog channel.”
DMA’s report contains four chapters on the following topics:
· Profile of Respondents and Industry Overview
· Multichannel Marketing Practices
· Sales Results and Strategies
· Circulation Statistics
It is also broken down by three segmentations:
· Expertise (survey participants rated their own level of expertise in multichannel practices — beginner, intermediate, or expert)
· Revenue size of the company (three revenue subgroups were created — small companies up to $10 million; medium $11 to $250 million; large $251 million or more)
· Type of market (three primary market break outs — businesses, consumers, or both equally).
Additionally, the 2008 report revealed:
· Similar to prior years, 62 percent of respondents reported that catalogs were their primary sales channel. Websites were second at 20 percent. Six percent said retail was their main sales channel.
· The paper catalog is still the largest revenue generator among all channels with an average of nearly 50 percent of sales in both 2007 and 2008, although web sales continue to grow.
· Survey respondents experienced increase in sales in 2007 and expect increases in 2008.
· There was a large increase in circulation from 2003 to present, likely a result of more companies using catalogs to drive web business.
· With the catalog industry using more than one channel to sell their products, almost 90 percent of respondents track response rates for online buyers separately from offline buyers, compared to around 60 percent in 2005 and 2006.
· When asked which media respondents use to cross-sell offline buyers online, in addition email promotions and web offers, 32 percent of respondents also use search marketing.
· 50 percent of all respondents report they have fully integrated marketing functions, but between 60 and 70 percent of respondents report being fully integrated in operational, consumer facing functions.
DMA conducted this survey in April and May of 2008 through an email invitation sent to multichannel companies, including catalog, retail, and internet merchants. When the survey was closed, 106 respondents were included for tabulation.
The report is available for download on DMA’s online bookstore. The cost is $245 for DMA members and $445 for non-members. To purchase, please click here.
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