Wednesday, 1 July 2009

The June Catalogue Log

Last month we introduced the Catalogue Log, in which we analysed the catalogues received by Catalogue e-business to date to see what sort of offers were made. We also promised to update it monthly. Well, here’s the Catalogue Log for June.

Of the 129 catalogues tallied in June, 44—34.1 percent—promised some sort of sale or discount. That’s down appreciably from 42.6 percent of the May catalogues. The percentage of free-delivery offers declined as well, from 11 percent in May to 8.5 percent in June. On the other hand, the percentage offering a free gift increased significantly, from 11 percent in May to 17.8 percent.

Overall 46.5 percent of the catalogues did not tout any promotions, discounts, or offers on their cover. Some, such as food and wine merchant Atkins and Potts and educational supplier Morleys Early Years, played up the new additions to their product range instead. Others, such as Party Pieces, Fire Protection Online, and DIY retailer Wickes, pointed out their order deadlines for next-day delivery (1pm, 2pm, and 6pm respectively). Several made sure to drive readers to their website (“There’s more online at”; “Watch the amazing spa film at”; “Avoid the queues and check stock online” from knitwear mailer Woolovers). Most of the promotion-free cataloguers, however, didn’t include any special marketing message on their front covers, thereby failing to give readers another reason to turn the page.

A few items of note: Housewares mailer Betterware ran a competition for a year’s worth of free housecleaning. On the cover of its Tents 2009 edition, Taunton Leisure boasted of its “price check promise”. And both Easylife and Telegraph Select featured the same photo of a “versatile ladder” on their front covers—only Easylife charged £10 more.--SC


  1. we ( added "call to action" offers on the top of our website. As soon as we add offers, the sales increase 10 fold. It's impossible to survive without explaining to your customers why they need to buy today. Currently we have 10% total bill if you buy today and a quote beater offer, where we aim to beat any quote offered by a competitor.

  2. Given the current economic situation, businesses are struggling to survive. So offers are more important now than ever to keep the business ticking over and money coming in, even if profit levels are lower. In the recession businesses don't need to make masses of profit, instead they should just look to break even or make a small loss at worst, to make sure that when the good times come back around, they are still trading.