Retail viewpoint: Brochures vs online ordering

Box of Delights’ Michelle Ellingham with Hammond Gower’s Nicci Gower at PG Live.
Box of Delights’ Michelle Ellingham with Hammond Gower’s Nicci Gower at PG Live.

Even the tiniest card publisher now has a website, with most offering some sort of online catalogue and ordering system for trade. So does this spell the death of the catalogue and brochure? PG asks Michelle Ellingham, owner of Box of Delights in Flitwick about the relative merits of these tangible tools of the trade.

A paper catalogue – yay or nay?

Five Dollar Shake is committed to producing catalogues.
Five Dollar Shake is committed to producing catalogues.

“I still get excited when companies launch their new products and as part of this I always look forward receiving brochures and catalogues. I appreciate the publishers’ costs involved in their production, printing and sending by mail etc, but it is worth it – a bit like receiving a greeting card!

And it works, as I do think of these companies first when ordering as the brochures/catalogues prompt me, plus I keep them for future reference. I look at brochures in the shop, but also in the evening or even early mornings in bed!

Rachel Ellen Designs produces two catalogues a year, in January and July. The most recent version includes more lifestyle photography which depicts the gift product collections.
Rachel Ellen Designs produces two catalogues a year, in January and July. The most recent version includes more lifestyle photography which depicts the gift product collections.

Among the companies whose catalogues I really rate are Woodmansterne, Belly Button Designs, Rachel Ellen Designs, Caroline Gardner, Wendy Jones-Blackett, Five Dollar Shake, East Of India, Portmeirion, Jellycat, Heathcote and Ivory, Katie Loxton and Parlane International.

These companies’ brochures and catalogues stand out from the rest as they are always so well produced, the products are photographed beautifully and they make it easy to order.”

Woodmansterne’s 2018 catalogue.
Woodmansterne’s 2018 catalogue.

What about online ordering?

Catalogues are there in front of you. Visiting websites looking for new products is time consuming. I accept that online ordering and websites have reduced the need for catalogues and brochures, but it is still so much nicer to receive a tangible brochure or catalogue through the post. It is more personal, you feel your business is valued and appreciated, plus it prompts you to order!”

Publisher Feedback – Rachel Hare, managing director of Belly Button Designs

“Catalogues continue to be important for retailers. We did try just creating a PDF of our Christmas range instead of an actual catalogue last year, but have returned to an actual printed version this year. If anything we have gone to more effort with our catalogues, for both Belly Button and Bubble, introducing more lifestyle shots that before.”

The Belly Button catalogue not only is a useable ‘tool’, but also inspires with its lifestyle photography.
The Belly Button catalogue not only is a useable ‘tool’, but also inspires with its lifestyle photography.

 

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