Why Is Zappos.com Adding Catalogs to Their Marketing Methods?

You may be familiar with the mantra, ‘buy cheap, sell high’. Well, this holds true when it comes to shopping on the web. Many online stores use this strategy by offering lowball (and sometimes even free) shipping and promotional deals in order to encourage you to make a purchase. However, Zappos.com does things a little differently. While most retailers try to up-sale, cross-sell, and down-sale as much as possible, Zappos knows exactly what they are doing.

To learn more, we reached out to Michael Stelzner, Director of Marketing for Zappos.com, to get his opinion on why the company uses catalogs in its marketing methods and how they can help small businesses.

The Power Of The Catalog

Shopping on the web isn’t exactly the same as going into a physical retail store. For starters, with online stores, you have the ability to browse countless options in the comfort of your home. Additionally, if you’re not entirely sure what you’re looking for, you can use an online store’s search function to find whatever it is you need. No more wandering the aisles aimlessly, looking for the best fit in a hurry.

This is why it’s so important for retailers to keep up with the times and utilize all the available tools at their disposal. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, the world of retail was changing as more and more consumers were turning to their smartphones and searching for what they need online. This trend has continued even after the pandemic as more and more people have been prevented from leaving their homes, opening up the retail world to a whole new audience.

To combat this, retailers must adapt and change with the times, finding ways to connect with their customers even when they’re physically apart. One of the most useful tools for this is a catalog. A physical retail store’s catalog is like a super-sellers’ section of the shop. The items on the page aren’t necessarily discounted, but they are higher-end, more luxurious items. This is the type of thing that turns heads and gets noticed.

The catch is that you have to physically have a catalog. In the age of the internet, this isn’t quite as necessary. If a business doesn’t have a website or an e-commerce store, then they can use a service like Printful to produce and send out their catalogs to customers. This way, even if someone doesn’t want to make the purchase online, they can still have access to the information.

Cross-Selling And Up-Selling

We’ve already established that shopping on the web is different than going into a physical retail store. This being said, some of the tactics used in retail still apply. One of the biggest differences is the fact that an online store can up-sale and cross-sell items that they already have in stock, as well as the items that they promote on their site. This is something that isn’t always possible in a physical retail store.

If a retailer doesn’t have an e-commerce store or a website, then this presents a bit of a challenge. Up-selling and cross-selling are two important concepts that can help guide their marketing strategies. These are two ways of getting paid for an item that you already have in your possession. For example, if you’re a jewelry store and you see that a customer is interested in a necklace, you can either up-sale it to them or cross-sell them a bracelet that you think they may like more.

These are just some of the tools that Zappos uses to attract potential customers. One of the most powerful things about this company is that they know exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it. Even before the pandemic, people were changing the way they shopped. Now that the world is on the road to recovery, we can expect even more people to become aware of online stores and the benefits that they offer.