How Did COVID-19 Impact Catalogs?
Catalogs were not exempt from the massive changes that happened in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which completely altered the way consumers live, work, and shop for new products. Paula Jeske, VP business development at Lett Direct, notes a few key catalog changes that directly resulted from those challenges.
- For brands who rely on wholesale, but have e-commerce invested more heavily into their direct-to-consumer channel to improve sales, print catalogs presented a key opportunity to reach consumers spending more time at home.
- Direct-to-consumer brands are testing more catalog and direct mail applications as the digital space becomes increasingly crowded, noisy, and expensive, while mailboxes are not full and have a more long-lasting effect.
- Existing cataloger mailers in the “hot” categories of food, home décor, home furnishings, gifts, pets, and outdoor saw unprecedented growth with their existing mail plans, incentivizing many to mail more into Fall and Holiday 2020 with positive results.
- Slower categories such as clothing initially pulled back, then refocused their efforts on their buyers and tightened up their prospecting.
- B2B mailers initially scaled or held back as workforces moved to work from home until it was clear how mail was being received and distributed to intended recipients, so it caused a lag early in the pandemic. This issue is still not fully resolved, as employees continue to work from home, with the biggest impact affecting prospecting.