Why Print – Part 3 of 5

Continued from previous post: Part 2 of 5 on Why Print

Buyers seek print.

The success of retail websites means printed catalogs can be relegated to the doornail file. Or so says the conventional wisdom. But, recent research indicates otherwise.

Online consumers who received a printed catalog from any given retailer were nearly twice as likely to make an online purchase at that retailer’s website. The finding comes from a comScore survey based on 6,400 responses from online shoppers.

The reason for the sales windfall: consumers seek print when they’re ready to buy. That’s a fact supported by a 2005 field study by the Direct Marketing Association. Scoring the primary channels for generating orders, the research found that 60% came from printed catalogs, 24% were inspired by retail settings and only 9% arrived via Internet.

The percent of sales by channel also showed print’s pulling power. Paper catalogs accounted for 42% of sales, retail 20%, websites 26% and other channels 12%.

In a 2006 study of newspaper readers sponsored by the Newspaper Association of America, 78% reported that they use newspaper inserts to plan shopping and 76% say that these inserts have helped them save money.

The moral: If you’re not using print, you’re missing out on big numbers.

Print is credible.

The phrase, “Get it down on paper” has never been more meaningful. Having words and images that you can examine and hold in your hand, review, show to others and keep in a safe place provides a degree of reassurance that no bit-and-byte medium can match.

People love the speed and scope of the Internet, but the WWW’s fleeting nature makes them wonder: Am I getting the fast shuffle here? And what’s all this contradictory information? Conversely, our ink-on-paper medium is 
believable because print is real, print is timeless and print
is focused.

An increasing number of marketers are leveraging print’s high credibility by using custom publications to get their messages out and absorbed. More than 32 billion custom publications
circulate annually in the United States, according to the Custom Publishing Review’s 2006 Annual Report. Total expenditures on the medium amounted to $29.9 billion for the year. Researchers also found that 66% of people surveyed read custom publications and that 80% agree that custom publications contain useful information. They are believers because print is the credible medium.

Read more reasons in part 4 of 5 on Why Print.

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