Consumers Say That Multichannel Marketing Should Be Transparent

Consumers Say That Multichannel Marketing Should Be Transparent

The Direct Marketing Association's report, Multichannel Marketing in the Catalog Industry, reveals that nearly 70 percent of respondents reported increased multichannel sales over the prior year, and 59 percent reported increased catalog circulation in 2006.

Anna Chernis, DMA's senior research manager, says "...Consumers expect, in whatever channel they opt to use, to interact with one company with integrated systems that are transparent to that consumer." For multi-channel companies, this is "a major departure from earlier thinking, in which companies thought the Internet channel would require different pricing, promotions, and other approaches than the other channels," added Chernis.

In the 2007 study's five chapters, which include Profile of Respondents and Report Overview, Multichannel Marketing Practices, Sales Results and Strategies, Circulation Planning, and Financial Information, some of the key findings include:

  • Among those surveyed who have mail-order catalogs, 44 percent of total sales are consummated via the Web (vs. mail and telephone)
  • 33 percent of respondents believed that their online sales were "incremental," i.e., that they would not have received the order without the existence of their Web site.
  • When asked to account for the online sales increase and their positive outlook for 2007, respondents said a symbiotic set of factors, overall economic conditions, overall company growth, and simply better response rates were the most influential.
  • 45 percent of respondents said their "Web site/e-catalog" was their primary marketing channel.  This was followed by paper catalog (33 percent) and retail stores (22 percent).
  • When asked what offers and promotions they plan to use in 2007, 82 percent planned to employ email promotions, followed by discounts/special sales (67 percent), coupons (38 percent), and prize/sweepstakes promotions (33 percent).
  • 42 percent planned to use free shipping offers this year.
Read the complete article here, or access the report through the DMA bookstore here.
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