Catalogue still top dog for OP buyers

Originally written and published at

Catalogue still top dog for OP buyers

Despite widespread talk about the demise of traditional paper catalogues, they still seem to be going strong in the office products industry.

The emergence of e-commerce was heralded as the death of printed marketing material but research from European vendor Hamelin revealed they remain an important tool for buyers of stationery.

According to Hamelin’s research, over 55 percent of those surveyed still use a catalogue as a starting point, regardless of whether they buy online or over the phone.

Surprisingly, when trying to find the latest products, just as many used an internet search engine (32 percent) as those flicking through the pages of a brochure.

Hamelin said dealers which continue to produce and improve their catalogues may experience a competitive advantage in the marketplace. However, it was quick to state that developing a strong online platform was still important as 33 percent of buyers performed the entire purchasing process online.

Outside of the OP industry, the research cited the likes of IKEA and Argos, companies which continue to use print material as an integral part of their marketing strategy.

Argos continues to print more than 20 million catalogue copies each year, despite a focus on digital development. This was due to the demand for traditional retail elements favored by consumers.

However, one change in behavior Hamelin’s study highlighted regarded promotions and offers. Seventy per cent of participants said email was their primary source of information concerning current discounts and deals.

“Standing out in the inbox and preventing an automatic delete is the challenge for those trying to cut through,” said Hamelin.

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