E-retailers Turning to Print: Adweek, Boston Herald
posted by Stuart Cumming ~ 08/04/14
Category: Marketing
In two separate recent articles, leading online retailers are reported as turning to the use of hard copy printed material, to increase sales. 

Whether in the form of product catalogues or more elaborate, editorial style "magalogues" featuring products available on their sites, these e-tailers see print as both another touchpoint and as a "bridge" to those on their customer data base who may not be regular visitors to their sites but who still enjoy the convenience of shopping at home. 

"We're meeting customers where they shop," said Wayfair's GM of merchandising for lifestyle brands.

Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali, Senior Analyst at Forrester Research, agrees. "As a lot of other marketers cut back on print marketing, there's an opportunity to stand out more. It's not perceived as clutter-nobody has a bad impression of magazines-and it can be a very useful way to drive traffic to your core property."

Executive summary

The Boston Herald article features online home goods retailer Wayfair's launch of its new Birch Lane brand via online and a printed catalogue to be mailed out to Wayfair's 500,000 customer base.

While AdWeek reports on the print success of online-only retailers like Rent the Runway, editorialist.com, JackThreads , Birchbox and flash sale site One Kings Lane - whose vp of creative, readily admits that the concept of digital-to-print seems counterintuitive. "Putting money behind print doesn't necessarily seem like the first thing you'd think of doing," he said. But following the release of their spring magalog, there was a major boost in chatter about the brand on social media. 

Meanwhile, Editorialist.com saw a "huge uptick" in conversion of pieces that were featured in their hard-copy magazine. "It completely blew our highest expectations," said Hudson.
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