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Retailers rely on catalogues

  • In association with the Australasian Catalogue Association
  • December 14, 2016
  • The Register team
Retailers rely on catalogues

Catalogues have never been a better investment for retailers, according to the Australasian Catalogue Association’s first annual industry report for New Zealand.

The association represents the producers and distributors of catalogues. It says increased housing, population and strong distribution networks have all helped boost catalogue readership during the last financial year, with 3.88 million Kiwis reached during FY2015 – a feat that not even free-to-air television can match.

“No other media compares with the reach of letterbox marketing,” says ACA Chief Executive Officer, Kellie Northwood.

In a media environment where it’s easier than ever for customers to skip, block or fast-forward through ads, mailers and catalogues achieve cut-through. Research from the ACA indicates 70 percent of New Zealanders aged over 14 read catalogues during an average month. The people who read catalogues and mailers the most are aged 40-49, a well-funded consumer group. Challenging the narrative that Millennials don’t engage with print, consumers aged 18-29 come in at second place.

The gender balance of catalogue engagement is more or less equal at 55 percent female and 45 percent male. They’ve got particular relevance for women aged 20-59, and people with children who are the main household shopper.

National retailers are the strongest users of catalogues. Accordingly, Northwood says the best-loved catalogues are all made by retailers: Michael Hill Jeweller, Life Pharmacy, Pascoes Jewellery, Palmers Gardenworld, Spotlight, Fresh Choice and Harvey Norman.

Catalogues released by these companies are 15-41 times more likely to be read over others, and Northwood says these brands are realising great cut-through.

Customers don’t just read their catalogues, they also go on to make purchases. 79 percent of customers have purchased an item after seeing it advertised through unaddressed mail, and even those who claim not to like the medium are still 59 percent more likely to make a purchase after receiving an unaddressed mailer.

The ACA Industry Report shows that unaddressed mailers appealed because it was low-pressure and offered useful product information. They liked to browse, make price comparisons, and hunt for special deals at their leisure.

12-month trends in catalogues to consider:

1) National retailers continue to dominate the letterbox, and are increasing the page count of their catalogues.

2) Mid-tier retailers continue to place more emphasis on targeting.

3) Small, local businesses are starting to use mailers more.

4) Agency spend on letterbox mailers and catalogue advertising has rapidly increased as targeting improves.

5) Retailers are maximising their investment by making their catalogues accessible across all channels and devices.

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