From: Raz Godelnik, Triple Pundit, More from this Affiliate
Published December 27, 2011 08:30 AM

An App to Kill the Printed Catalog

The holiday season is the shopping season. It is also the catalog season, with tens of millions of glossy catalogs sent out to encourage people to shop. Although there's nothing new about it, this year we can finally say there is a light at the end of the catalog tunnel. I'm talking about Catalog Spree, "the ultimate digital catalog shopping experience for the iPad."

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This iPad app represents an alternative that finally can beat the printed catalogs: It's convenient, user-friendly, provides customers with a fun and easy shopping experience and retailers with an effective way to engage with customers, not to mention a better ROI. In other words, it's a game changer.

I don't know about you, but I see printed catalogs as one of the most vivid examples for the unsustainability of the existing economic model. Think about it – each year, about 19 billion catalogs are mailed to American consumers. It means that every American receives more than 60 catalogs every year on average. Why? Because according to the Direct Marketing Association, printed catalogs provide a 7 to 1 ROI and an impressive direct order response rate of 2.24 percent. With such impressive figures, is it surprising retailers are printing hundreds of billions of catalogs every year?

Yet, the only reason printed catalogs generate such ROI is because retailers don't pay for their environmental impacts. These externalities include, according to Catalog Choice, 53 million trees that produce 3.6 million tons of paper, 5.2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, and 53 billion gallons of wastewater. If you would add these elements to the bill, I doubt how attractive the ROI of catalogs will look then.

Article continues: http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/12/killer-app-catalog-spree-beating-printed-catalog/

Image credit: http://cnettv.cnet.com/rooney-christmas-catalogs/9742-1_53-50065469.html

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