Over the last several years, we’ve seen catalogs come and go. And we’ve seen many retailers jump into the game, spend a LOT of money (we’re talking tens of millions of dollars) and then abandon the model after a couple of seasons. This literally breaks my heart and makes me want to scream! Why does this happen? Here is my very quick opinion. These brands have a combination of the following: 1. A flawed merchandise concept that is not unique, delivered with out-of-date benefits or sent to an audience the brand knows nothing about. 2. Bad math that doesn’t take into account mail efficiencies, an understanding of their own database, mailing to bad names at the wrong time or how the catalog model fits into a cross-channel world. 3. A lack of understanding of how to create a landscape of words and imagery that truly sell off the page and drive activity to either a website or store. I could go on, but those seem to be the top three. And, that’s all I’m going to say about it because I’d prefer to focus on WHY catalogs still work in this crazy, omni-channel world where new and shiny marketing tactics pop up every month.
Consumer demand drives innovation, right? Demand for better health, more pleasure, access to information, transportation, etc. And, the success of any innovative idea has one thing in common, EASE. If a new idea isn’t easy to engage, it typically fails. Ease and simplicity are at the core of what we consider improvements to everyday life. Consider these off-the-cuff examples: • Alexa vs getting out of your chair • Siri vs finding it yourself • Touch screens vs keyboarding • Keyless entry vs using a key • Smart everything vs dumb everything • Forever stamps vs specific denominations, (the biggest postal innovation we’ve had?) • Amazon everything vs everything else • Electric bikes vs peddling • The list can go on forever. Cell phones, GPS, digital cameras…
Okay, we can agree that marketing an easier solution for almost anything is a path to success, yes? Now, let’s apply that theory to HOW we market.
Here’s a big mystery for me: why do so many brands, even big ones, make their websites so difficult to engage? The research is clear about the consumer’s desire for a simple and easy experience, so why do brands ignore that crucial data? I have a theory that in many retail organizations IT, merchants and execs hijack the website. It becomes the wall that the spaghetti is thrown on. Maybe because it’s perceived to have endless real estate? I’m not sure, but the result is often a website by committee, and we all know the pitfalls of that. I suspect the copy and design experts who understand the merits of keeping things simple often have little influence on what the consumer actually experiences.
I suggest getting the committee and the hijackers to agree to these five tactics proven to enhance user experience and drive higher conversion.
more at source: https://www.jschmid.com/blog/hijackers-simplicity-and-your-website/