The Catalog has Evolved

Are you a business leader or representative looking for the latest and most efficient method of interacting with your customers? In the past, paper catalogs were the de facto advertising means for an industry to get the word out about new products or current sales. With the advent of the information age and extensive availability of the internet, however, printed advertisements slowly began to fade out of favor. In an environment where less expensive or more convenient options are given priority, applications for mobile devices were able to provide both features in a single product.

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While the improved ease of distribution and diminished overhead costs would be a sufficient enough reason for any company to rely on digital catalogs, there are many more features that make the new age of advertising better for everyone involved. CustomPad, one of the best mobile apps designed to make paper catalogs applicable to the iPad, includes a store locator, hot spot navigator, news feed, and many other additional features alongside of its standard catalog function. Companies that utilize a CustomPad mobile app will be able to offer their customers options and functionality that the catalog of yesterday could never hope to achieve.

Best of all, every form of media available for CustomPad – catalogs, reports, flyers, magazines, etc. – also use the touch commands native to iPad and other Apple devices. Customers that are used to zooming in or out with a pinch, double tapping, and swiping to navigate their device will feel perfectly at home using the application. By combining easy access, simple controls, and multiple bonus features, CustomPad proves that catalogues have successfully made the transition into the technological world. If you want to stay at the forefront of your industry, you have to go where the customers are – the mobile screen.

 

Does your company use a digital catalog? If so, how has it improved your business?

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Four Reasons Why Your Company Should Say “There’s An App For That”

With each passing year, mobile commerce proves itself as a viable and powerful tool for retailers through engaging more and more customers, increasing sales, and generating larger revenues. In 2012 alone, mCommerce sales increased by 81% to a grand total of nearly $25 billion. Furthermore, according to an eMarketer study from earlier this year, mCommerce will move on to represent 24% of all ecommerce sales, while those generated by PC’s dropped by 14% in Q1 2013. The same study specified that of those mobile sales, tablet sales exceeded that of smartphones.

Regardless of the mobile medium, many retailers are still wondering how best to begin their mobile strategy and take advantage of this successful market. To that, we recommend three different strategies: the incorporation of responsive website design, the specification of a website solely for mobile devices, and the creation and promotion of mobile applications.

There is an App for that Responsive Website Designs and Mobile Websites

Developers and retailers saw the initial rush and push to create mobile websites back in 2011, primarily motivated by costs and resources. Since then, retailers have continued to move toward the idea of not only having a unique website with a design changing according to the device, but a more interactive and responsive website. With the expansion of design possibilities made available by ever-evolving technology (i.e. HTML5 language), the notion of responsive websites and mobile-specific websites has transitioned from a more creative stance to a logical strategy for both customer engagement and brand reach.

 

Mobile Applications

With the success of mCommerce as a whole, it then begs the question as to why one might hesitate in creating mobile applications as they would a mobile website or redesign their current website. Mobile applications are becoming invaluable tools and golden opportunities for retailers, for numerous reasons.

1.     Easy to Build

New and ever-improving frameworks and languages mean that not only is the construction of app relatively simple, but said apps are also easy to build for varying OS. With limited development, a native iOs App can be transformed into an Android App as multi-platform costs have drastically shrunk within the past two years.

2.     Better Customer Experience

In a recent study conducted by Compuware, 85% of participants said they prefer mobile apps to mobile websites. Apps are also perceived as being more convenient (55%), faster (48%) and easier to use for browsing and shopping (25%).  –And customer perception is critical to consider.

Another advantage to utilizing apps concerns loading times. Mobile sites and responsive-design websites may take several seconds – or, depending on the internet connection, longer – to load, while mobile apps can be immediately available and accessible offline. This immediacy is the perfect response to society’s “need-it-now” mentality, ensuring for a quality user experience. Offline usage of mobile apps, paired with the availability of device features (i.e. camera, GPS) offers unlimited ideas to online brands. Unlike websites, mobile apps that do not require internet offer a more consistent relation to the merchant as the users can close the app and find the same content when they re-open it at a later time.

3.     Significant and Speedy Growth

Flurry’s 2012 mobile data report found the usage of retail shopping apps grows 4 times faster than general app usage. Furthermore, tablets alone are generating greater and greater numbers of online and mobile traffic (for more details and statistics, see our blog, “Why Retailers Should Focus Their Mobile Commerce Strategy on Tablets”).

4.     Proper Response to Competitors’ Apps

Some 83 percent of top retailers offer at least one mobile application, according to the IT consulting firm Cognizant. In the struggle for brand awareness and visibility, retailers cannot avoid platforms that would otherwise give competitors an edge. Being visible on an App Store and, therefore, being more available to one’s customers is a definite advantage.

If you don’t have a robust MCommerce strategy yet, what strategy will you take? -And if you already have a mobile website, how will you develop your mobile app?

 

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iPad: The Retail Mobile Commerce Champion

As more studies are conducted, it is becoming increasing clear that the iPad is becoming  found that retailers generate greater sales through tablets than they do through the champion of mobile commerce. According to the 2013 Adobe Digital Index, it has been smartphones (see our most recent blog, “Why Retailers Should Focus Their Mobile Commerce Strategy on Tablets”). Although Android-based tablets have gained a larger global market share over Apple’s iPad, with the statistics and studies available, the iPad

iPad Owners Dominate Online Traffic

Monetrate Ecommerce Quarterly’s Q1 2013 report found that 90% of tablet traffic originates from the iPad. By comparison, despite their 56% market share, Android tablets account for only 8% of tablet traffic (International Data Corporation, Q1 2013

report). Though the iPad may have been recently displaced as the global tablet market share leader, it is an overwhelming force for sales traffic in the United States. IBM’s Black Friday results for 2012 further confirm this with their finding that 90% of tablet traffic was generated from the iPad. Having such a powerful tool at one’s disposal could be a game changer, especially for the mobile commerce of retailers.

iPad Owners Spend More

comScore’s 2013 U.S. Digital Future study in Focus magazine cited that, in general, iPad owners are wealthier than the owners of other tablets, similar to the traditional comparison of Mac and PC owners. Monetate Ecommerce has also found that the average sale originating from an iPad is $99, which is higher than the average $95 sale coming from an Android and $84 Kindle sale. 10% of 2012’s Black Friday total sales were generated by the iPad. The spending customers engage in with their tablets –coupled with the demographics seen using each kind of tablet – can allow one to make the conclusion that the greater personal investment an individual has in their tablet, the greater the amount spent online with the tablet as a conduit.

iPad Owners Engage More, Especially with Apps

Furthermore, perhaps not unrelated to the personal investment, iPad users demonstrate stronger engagement. Asymco’s Orace Dediu’s theory concerning the “Android engagement paradox” considers the idea that the attraction of Android tablets for late adopters is likewise determining their shopping behavior. This affected shopping behavior manifests itself through these tablet owners spending less online. ABI Research’s 2013 forecasts predict the iPad will have a 75% market share of total tablet app downloads.

iPad: The Retail Mobile Commerce Champion

Coupled with the iPad dominating tablet online traffic, retailers could be missing a great opportunity by not utilizing the iPad by

not tapping into the numbers of available customers already engaged with their tablets.

The tablet has arisen as an influential tool for retailers, with the iPad at the forefront of the tablet traffic, sales, and engagement. Ensuring one’s online presence extends to the iPad means extending diversity of an online presence, stronger traffic, better sales, and better engaged customers; in essence, a superior customer experience, measurable by examining one’s own web analytics.

Retailers, does your brand has a tablet strategy?

What are the results so far?

 

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Why Retailers Should Focus Their Mobile Commerce Strategy on Tablets

Retail marketers and mobile strategists are putting a lot of effort into reaching their mobile audience, mostly to raise brand awareness and increase online sales. With those improvements and innovations, we’ve seen a corresponding rise in tablet web traffic. As of February 2013, an Adobe survey revealed that tablet web traffic had surpassed smartphone web traffic for the first time in the U.S. Additionally, the web traffic from tablets already accounts for 10% of the global traffic on retail websites. NPD Display Search has forecasted that 2013 will ultimately show U.S. tablet sales being greater than computer sales. These statistics and forecasts are just the beginning of the arguments for why retailers should keep their eyes on the tablet and consider utilizing the tablet for their personal mobile commerce strategy.

Tablet Owners Comprise a Large, Growing Audience

mPortal and Parks Associates have reported the number of US tablet users will show a 61% increase from 2013 to 2014. Similarly, IHS iSupply forecasts that in 2015, more than 50% of Americans will own a tablet. With these kinds of numbers, retailers would be hard-pressed to ignore the tablet as a means of extending and changing the customer shopping experience for the better. Tablets owners should no longer be a secondary target.

Tablets Are Used for Online Shopping More Than Any Other Mobile Device

According to the Adobe 2013 Digital Publishing Report, 55% of tablets owners and 30% of smartphone users already use their device for shopping. eMarketer’s 2013 study showed that of the number of online shopping transactions, tablets make up 17% of the total 24%. On the same note, tablet online sales are predicted to grow at a faster pace than smartphone online sales. Clearly, the tablet has become a solid avenue for online shopping and will only continue to prove to be a more powerful one.

mobiletrafficTablet Owners Spend More Than Other Mobile Device Shoppers

Compared to other avenues for online shopping, tablet owners spend significantly more than both smartphone shoppers and computer shoppers. According to the 2013 Adobe Digital Index, it was found that tablet owners spend around 54% more per transaction than smartphone shoppers and 20% more per transaction than computer users. The numbers are strong enough evidence to point to the necessity of extending one’s mobile commerce strategy to the tablet.

Tablet Users Are Generally Better Customers

Former Hautelook CMO Greg Bettinelli spoke to the breakdown of Hautelook.com’s online traffic. 50% of the traffic stems from mobile devices, Bettinelli said, with 55% of that traffic being from smartphones and 45% from tablets. Though for Hautelook.com specifically, tablet users contribute less to overall sales than smartphones do, Bettinelli speaks to quality of customers over quantity. “Tablet transactions are on average 50% bigger than ones on iPhones,” Bettinelli says. “If we make $2 for every person on an iPhone, we make $2.50 for desktop users and $3 for iPad shoppers. An iPad is a pre-qualifier for a better customer, a lot of our better customers have iPads. I can’t say it’s fully because of the device. The device is a good experience, but it’s not that much better than the computer, so it’s as much about the customer who uses that device. An iPad is an indicator of the quality of a customer.”

“So the message to retailers should be…when you’re thinking about driving that purchase decision and purchase intent, you need to think about how tablets play into your strategy,” said Lynly Schambers-Lenox, Group Product Marketing Manager at Digital Publishing at Adobe.

With these strong facts supporting tablets, it is readily apparent that tablets should be the central focus of one’s mobile commerce strategy. It can provide the customer with an innovative shopping experience and, for the retailer, bring in quality customers and better customer relations. Not only is the number of tablet owners on the rise, but so is the frequency with which these users shop online and the amount of how much they spend online. The tablet is creating a strong customer base that retailers would be foolish to ignore and not tap into. The tablet is a rising star and is demanding attention.

Why not have one’s content on the tablet to share the spotlight?

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Dynamic Catalog

In the world of catalogs, digital catalogs with dynamic content stand at the crossroads that meshes the incomparable and more familiar experience of printed catalogs, and the increasingly personalized online shopping experience. Digital catalogs have both the ability to curry customer relationships with a particular brand, like printed catalogs, and the strength of real time information and personal one-to-one marketing.

The Definition of a Dynamic Catalog 

A dynamic content catalog means part of all of the content of the online catalog is based on dynamic feeds between the catalog and the product database of the brand. Whether a brand has an ecommerce website or not, most have a product database that can be used to feed a dynamic content catalog, which means they also have the option of creating a more engaging, efficient online shopping experience for their customers.

Utilize the Power Behind Up-To-Date Information

Have a dynamic catalog means have relevant, real-time information available to customers. This means whenever a customer is perusing a digital catalog, all of displayed products are actually available for purchase. Having real-time, dynamic information can be particularly advantageous during sales and holidays.

Personalize Offers for the User

Just as brands can offer specific content to website visitors, brands can display personalized offers in their catalog. Digital catalogs with dynamic content are another example of a CRM solution that allows a brand to better connect with their customers and better engage in one-to-one marketing. In this way, the feeds used by the dynamic content catalog are just an extension of the feeds brand already utilizes on its website.

Dynamic Catalogs are Cost-Effective

Instead of designing several specific catalogs based on sales or seasons, a brand can optimize its time and resources with a single catalog structure. After the initial development of the catalog, the costs of duplication and of designing new catalogs with the same layout are diminished significantly. This allows for infinitely more possibilities concerning catalog design and production.

Unlimited Catalog Production

All the content of the catalog is derived from a product database. Ergo, a brand does not need to design a print catalog to have a digital catalog. A brand that wants to significantly expand its customer base and reach can do so without the costs of developing, printing, and distributing a printed catalog first.

Digital catalogs with dynamic content means having the reach and real-time information of online catalogs, with the ability to reinforce customer relationships and engagement of printed catalogs. They are the best of both worlds, and allow for infinitely more possibilities in relation to production, distribution, creativity, and marketing.

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Tablets – Benefits for Companies, Marketing and Sales People

More tablets will be sold in 2013 than computers. That is the new IDC forecast from March 28, 2013. 191 million tablets will be shipped worldwide this year compared to 142 million computers.

Where will those tablets go? At home for sure, but also more and more in companies, for employees usage. It makes sense, especially for all the mobile employees, such as sales force.

In this day and age, when more and more companies equip the sales forces with an iPad, why should a sales rep still carry outdated printed brochures and catalogs? Why should they spend so much time gathering the right information to prepare their clients’ meetings, and then spend time afterward to place orders?

New tools are available to help companies like yours maximize the efficiency of their sales team so they can spend more time with more customers, making sure they communicate current and relevant information to trigger larger orders.

In a recent post in DirectMarketing News  http://www.dmnews.com/are-marketers-selling-salespeople-short/article/287197/, Al Urbanski reveals the discrepancy of opinion between Marketers and Salespeople when it comes to communication and distribution of collateral. Most of sales people think they do not get fresh collateral in a timely fashion.

If you are part of the early adopters, you may already have equipped your sales team with iPad. Congratulations! If not, your sales people have most probably a computer, but it is often not possible to get connected in companies. People get lost on websites, and the navigation is not so friendly.

From an iPad (or other tablet), Sales reps can the access your CRM tool with customer database and information through the mobile app and prepare for their meeting on the go. But once they are at their meeting, they still need to bring countless amount of brochures and catalogs, unless they share the information through PDF, or better yet through digital catalogs optimized for the iPad. Would they present the most up-to-date information though?

Once they agreed with the customer on the next step and order placement, your sales rep need then to login on your website once connected to enter the order, unless they still to call or fax.

Today, this processes involved too much time with navigation in too many different tools and support.

There is a solution for it!

With one App, your sales force can:

- Access their own customers database after login-in to evaluate each customer situation, localize customers in their area

- Show all available collaterals such as catalogs and brochure, up to date, and available offline

- Process the order right there and manage multiple orders for multiple customers.

- Synchronize their daily sales to your in-house information system in a few minutes

What’s more?

Your company could have in parallel a public app with part of the in-house app; so customers and prospects can also browse catalogs and place orders.

And finally, your company’s catalogs can be made available for all computers, all mobile devices, online and offline. You sales champions can then follow up their customer’s visit with a quick email with links to the right collateral.

And of course, you can track all that activity and analyze the most successful content and features.

Contact us and get a custom quote today!

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Time to Fine Tune the Holiday Campaigns

 

 

 

 

In a recent shop.org planning guide for the Holiday 2012, we were reminded of the importance of the actions retailers take at this period of the year. http://www.nrf.com/modules.php?name=News&op=viewlive&sp_id=1433

The National Retail Federation (NRF) reported “2011 holiday sales beat expectations, 4.1% to $471.5 billion”. ComScore counted that $37.2 billion were spent online.), an increase of 15% spent during Holiday 2010.

A latest survey from Deloitte forecast 2012 Holiday spending of online would increase again 15%.

More than half of U.S. consumers will shop online this holiday season, while the average person will complete about 38.8 percent of his or her shopping on retailers’ and other companies’ Web sites.30 percent of tablet owners plan to make a purchase with their tablet during this holiday season

So, yes, retailers, look again at your checklist and make sure you planned all the actions necessary for success this season. There is still a little bit of time to add or adjust some campaigns.

Email sign ups and click through rates increased significantly during the Holiday shopping period. It is then essential for retailers to bring valuable content to customers in their email campaign.A digital catalog is a perfect way to share a holiday’s guide and engage with customers.

Consumers value free shipping, as well as coupons. Add a special coupon in the interactive digital catalog. Customers could redeem their coupon online or in the store, they could also share it with friends. That’s a great way to check the effectiveness of the digital catalog for in store traffic, beside the web analytics provided.

Wish lists and gift registries are gaining in significance for online holiday shopping. Almost one third of online holiday shoppers was “very familiar” with wish lists and gift registries last year. Add a wish list to the digital catalog.

Two major trends need to be considered for the 2012 holiday’s season. The first one is the growth of tablets on their usage. IDC forecasts 117 million tablets sold in 2012, compared to 71 Millions in 2011; 60% of them being iPads.

The second major trend is the new social media network, Pinterest. Over 23 Million users share their favorite images, including of course products seen online. The strength of Pinterest is in the level of engagement and actions taken from views.

Retailers, increase your chances to grow your holiday sales over 15% from last year. Enchant your customers with a premium interactive catalog. Surprise them with very special highlights on your products that will grab their attention. Enhance the digital catalog with videos and special coupons. Add an integrated shopping basket or/and a wish list. Let your customers share each product on social media and especially PinterestAnd make sure your catalog fits perfectly on all mobile devices.

Examples to follow in next posts….

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How To Boost Your Pinterest Exposure With Your Catalog

Browse - Zoom - Pin

“I Love It” Pinterest Function Sets a New Benchmark for Increasing Brand Awareness

Pinterest has been all the rage this year, with over 25 Million unique users. According to online sharing tool Shareaholic,Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Twitter.

Prestimedia is the first interactive publication provider to offer retailers a powerful tool to reach Pinterest’s visitors. Each product in a catalog can now be individually pinned.

Jump into the Pinterest world simply using your catalog. Send us your latest catalog PDF and we’ll do the rest for you; Just like for Build a Bear Workshop with their catalog shared online and also on their Facebook Page !

See the Press Release and link to the latest Build a Bear workshop catalog here :
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/3/prweb9270185.htm

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Would you print your catalogs on cheap paper ?

You’ve selected the best team or agency to shoot photos and design your catalog.
Your brand means something to your customers and they identify themselves with it.
When it comes to printing that beautiful catalog of yours, would you consider printing it on cheap paper?
Probably not, because you understand that every element of the catalog, including the quality of the paper, contributes to the emotion you convey to your prospects, and ultimately contributes to the success of the catalog.
Now, you can share your catalog online and on your website.

This multiplies the distribution, increases the number of viewers and extends the longevity of the catalog at a very reasonable cost.
But why create a catalog in the first place? Oh yes, to boost sales, to drive customers into stores, on the phone and online to purchase your products.
And why shouldn’t it be the same goal for your digital catalog?
Right, it should.

Are you really connecting and engaging with readers of your digital catalog today so they place orders?
Not sure?
Well, we’re back to the paper comparison.
Why choose a random solution and have an e-catalog, flipbook or digital catalog without thinking about the purpose of having your catalog online and what you’re trying to achieve? Then look for the right format and solution to make your catalog available to digital readers?
Does your catalog online convey the personality of your brand and communicate the quality of your products?
Can prospects see products nicely with easy zoom? Are they provided with all the necessary information to make a purchasing decision?
How easy is it for your fans to share their favorite products from the catalog?
How easy is it for the readers to take action and purchase products from the catalog?

It’s time to rethink your goals and possible ROI with your digital catalog, make it an interactive catalog and give your audience an enjoyable experience.
Think in these terms:
- Customize and stay true to your brand
- Enchant your readers, trigger emotions resulting in actions.
- Make it easy to read and view, share and buy products.

An interactive catalog is your chance to combine the pleasurable experience of the print catalog with the practicality and immediate availability of a website. Take advantage of both channels and generate more revenue online, on mobile and in Facebook!

How can we help you?
Contact Prestimedia

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Catalogers, How will you handle your 2012 Budget with mailing and print costs increase?

I was at a great event organized by CeC last week in San Francisco to review the cost increase for mailing catalogs.

Budget 2012 is the hot subject. Indeed, Thanksgiving just passed, your holiday campaigns are rolled out and already started, everything is planned and done; or is it?

Did you do all you could to grab more share of those holidays shopping budget?

The biggest shopping season is here and there is some revenue to bring in. Do not let any chance of missing sales. If not yet done, inspire your prospects and customers with an engaging interactive catalog. The cost is extremely low and the returns are immediate with higher value of shopping basket. Look for yourself with this case study of retail chain “Boulanger” with ROI 500% higher from their digital catalog with wish list at Christmas time, than the print catalog – Or a reader of their catalog at 0.05$ per reader.

View Case study down in our resource section:

http://www.prestimedia.com/index.php/en/they-trust-us/#resourcesMenuAnchor

Why should you pass on that?

It is time to rethink your campaign. You are now working on the 2012 budget and decide where and how will you spend your budget. Cost for sure will increase, especially cost of print catalogs.

Indeed, and that was the subject of the CeC seminar. The post office announced an official 2.1% increase starting in January, and still an uncertain potential for further increase later in the year. Paper cost will soar at least 4% and printers haven’t yet been official on price increases.

For the sake of it, let’s take a 6% cost increase for print catalog, and let’s assume your budget will not change from 2011 (no decrease is good news!)

How will you  display your products in a fun and emotional manner?

There are no magic, and yes, the print catalog still have a great impact on sales in store and online. But the cost is pretty high. At an average cost of 1$ per printed 100 pages catalog mailed out for a medium size retailer. With a mailing campaign of 300,000 addresses every month, 6% increase will result in a $18K increase in the monthly budget. Or, with no increase of budget, 18,000 addresses will not receive the catalog.

There are many creative ways you can overcome this issue. Some send out new mailing pieces with a strong message to drive prospects online. A great way to complete this is to include a QR code on the mailing piece with a link to the interactive catalog; as well as communicating on the availability of the catalog online and in email campaigns.

With an engaging interactive catalog online, your catalog is now available for way over 18,000 lost mailed addressees; you still convey all the emotion of the catalog with tons of options for sharing on social medias and email, and ability to include a shopping basket within the digital catalog; the result is an average shopping basket value 20%-30% higher than regular online order.

 

The key is for the interactive catalog to be true to the brand, engaging, fun and easy for prospects to take immediate actions.

Other advantages of the digital catalog: it is available when you want it to be (compared to unreliable USPS at-home mailed date), it comes beautiful and enhanced (unlike damaged printed catalog) and you can track the success. Oh, and yes, it can be view on any device, computers, tablets and smart phones.

Do net let any room for the hazard, give your brand all chances of success in 2012 and explore new creative tools.

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