Here are some ways to look at your past catalog results to understand how your business responded to your current catalog circulation.
Compare your house file and prospecting results
- Compare them to last year’s results and your break-even
- Are results stronger, weaker or comparable to last year’s?
Compare your daily sales flash to last year
- Did the sales follow the same order curve as last year?
- Did sales compare later in the season?
- Did your best days have greater sales revenue than last year’s best days?
- Did the holiday season start to accelerate later than last year? (Many catalogers are reporting that the season started later than in previous years)
What were the sales spikes that came from your email promotions?
- Catalogs create demand and your emails harvest that demand
- Looking at the daily sales spikes can give you a measure of the impact of your emails and the incremental sales coming from your emails
- Daily sales can also tell you where your email offers and frequency of emails left sales gaps.
Compare sales around peak sales days (typically Cyber Monday and Black Friday)
- This will tell you how those two days have lost individual importance and how they have extended out beyond just a single day
- Did you lose sales on the front end of Black Friday or the back end of Cyber Monday by having your promotion periods too short?
Did you test deploying emails along with your catalog circulation?
- Lots of catalogers are testing match and deploy e-mail campaigns to boost response to their catalog circulation.
- Typically results in higher engagement and an increase in overall sales
Have you tested a mid-December catalog “tap”?
- Should be sent out to the top 10-20% of your customer base to maximize sales
- A good time to send is in the two weeks just before the start of the holidays
How is it best to handle catalog attribution of your Q4 catalogs?
- A simple technique is to add together the match back results of all your Q4 catalogs and divide by the number of catalogs that each list segment received. Otherwise the match back process will allocate a disproportionate amount of sales to the Holiday season’s last catalog.
- Did you vary your Q4 email and catalog offers so they didn’t get stale? Which offers work best?
Did your catalog hit its revenue goals?
- If not, was the softness in your house list, prospecting lists or both?
Did you hit your overall revenue goals but not your catalog revenue goals?
- If you hit your top line revenue goal but catalog revenue seemed soft, look at your rules for multi-channel attribution
- You may simply be over allocating sales to the “last touch” of emails rather than seeing actual soft demand from your catalogs
Look at which segments fell below your variable break-even.
- Why did these segments not achieve break-even?
- Was it a softness across the entire circulation or did specific house or prospecting segments under-perform?
How was your margin and Average order value compared to last holiday season?
Did your product mix change compared to previous Holiday seasons?
- Did you have better success with individual merchandise items compared to previous seasons?
Did back-orders impact your top line demand?
- Were your back-orders different than in previous holiday seasons?
Know that it is becoming increasingly harder to wring response rates out of Holiday mailings in September and early October
- Were your early season sales soft?
- Did you make up that lost ground at any other point in the year?
Arandell can assist you in ensuring you take into consideration the necessary factors that will lead to an accurate and useful report. The above are simply pointers for you to keep in mind.
For further questions, feel free to contact us so that we can come up with a more detailed and effective catalog circulation plan that drives more new business for you.