Effective catalog marketing and your AOV

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Mock up of catalog layout
Small changes in your catalog can help sales soar
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Simple changes for effective catalog marketing can push average orders higher

Are you doing everything you can to maximize your catalog sales?  Even when the budget is tight, small changes in your catalog marketing and design can make a big difference in your average order value (AOV) and improve your efforts in effective catalog marketing.

Whether your business uses a paper or online catalog (or a combination of both), make sure you're doing the everything you can to maximize each and every order.

Creating product clusters

Are you organizing your catalog by product?  While grouping all the shoes or presentation folders or replacement grills makes it easier to plan layout, and might make it easier for shoppers to find certain products, it could be hurting your AOV.

Catalog shoppers, especially retail home decor, clothing and automotive accessory shoppers who see products with other related items are more likely to add on additional merchandise to their order than those who are presented with a page of one product category.

Instead of organizing by specific product, consider creating catalog layouts by season, use or application.  For instance, a B2B catalog might want to display award certificates, folders, greeting cards, gifts, frames, and trophies in one section with a few of each on each page in an "Employee Recognition" section. This function-based layout style combines catalog marketing and customer focus in one

Adding feature layouts

If redesigning your catalog into product groups isn't feasible, or if you target audience needs detailed indexes on a regular basis, consider adding a few feature layouts at the beginning of your catalog incorporating related products on each page.  These feature pages can inspire catalog readers to consider complimentary products they might not have looked at before. 

Keep product descriptions clear, with language that demonstrates the relationships among the featured items. Think of these pages as part catalog marketing and part education, as you show the value of new combinations or add-ons.

Using environment shots

Even the photos you choose for your catalog can have a big impact on AOV.  Instead of limiting photos to the single product, consider placing the products you most want to promote into environment shots, showing them being used with other products.  The context view can help shoppers envision themselves using your product, and encourages more purchases.

If some of the extra items in the shot are things you sell, use the caption to offer information about the page where shoppers can find the other items.

Auto suggest add-ons

If yours is an online catalog, offering a list of suggested add-on purchases when a shopper adds things to their cart can boost AOV. 

If you choose this method, make sure the add-ons are truly related and that the list appears off tpo one side of the screen.  Pop-ups will only encourage cart abandonment.

Incorporating in-copy add-ons

Whether you use virtual catalogs or paper ones, carefully worded mentions of other, related products can increase AOV.  As with the auto-suggested add-ons above, make sure the relationship is realistic, and that it provides real value to your customers.

Before you test, set up your metrics

No mater which technique you choose to boost the success of your catalog marketing and AOV, make sure you have good ways to keep track of the results.  Start with a baseline, test one new approach at a time, and document any other changes occurring at the same time (like a price change).  That way, you'll know what works, and what next steps you need to take.

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