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Multi-channel marketing is an essential method of marketing which can serve both small, medium and large eCommerce businesses. It helps strengthen the message the brand hopes to pass across by selling to customers through the use of various channels.

Due to the increase in popularity of multi-channel marketing in online retail, it has become essential for retailers to satisfy customers in different channels in order to remain in business. Different customers have different expectations, and due to these expectations, it has become important for retailers to avail their customers with the ability to shop using a process, which they are mostly okay with. In order to achieve a good customer value level, retailers need to make these methods available, be it over the phone, online and so on.

According to a cross-channel survey carried out by a company known as JC Penney, it was shown that exclusively online shoppers spent about $121 every year, exclusively retail spent about $194 yearly, exclusively catalog about $242 yearly while those who used all three methods, spent more than $1000 yearly. The numbers do not lie.

Now, as knowledge of the benefits of multi-channel marketing becomes more common, a question rises up for new online retailers who intend to cash in on this – where do you begin?

Well, a good place to start would be to create and circulate a print catalog. Online stores and print catalogs work rather well together because each one covers up for the other’s weaknesses without taking anything away from the strengths. Customers look through the print catalog and then purchase their desired items online.

It is important for small as well as medium online retailers to identify just how much it will take to develop these catalogs. Some things to consider include, list management, the process of distribution, the creative design as well as the layout and also, postage costs. Also, while developing the ROI model, it is important to make use of conservative conversion metrics because it is not unusual for catalog conversion rates to fall behind those of the eCommerce stores.

The first page should contain the reason a potential customer should be interested in shopping at your store. Also, it should contain information concerning your cross-channel system, such as the various ways they can place orders, possibly return unsatisfactory goods and so on.

Also, make it easy for customers to locate items on the website which they saw in the catalog, by including “quick shop” numbers in the catalog.


Catalogs are a great way to sell, but when it comes to interacting with the customer, they fall short. With catalogs, there are usually a lot of questions the customers may have which may go unanswered due to space restrictions. Also, big businesses may not be able to catalog all their products, meaning, customers may be unaware that those products are even available for sale.

The above weakness is the exact reason the internet goes well with a catalog. While making each individual login a new experience based on the customer’s needs, the eCommerce store also shows the complete collection of products for sale. Features of the eCommerce store like buying guides and charts which aid comparison boost the customer’s faith in what he/she is buying.

The internet-catalog relationship has to work vice versa in the sense that just as the catalog aids the site, the site has to also promote the catalog.

This can be achieved by giving customers the choice of ordering the catalog from the site while making available an online media variety of the print catalog which can be sent, via email, to friends and family. The use of multi-channel marketing can really improve the demand for your products and strengthen your customer base.