More and more retailers are launching digital catalogs as the benefits of using these catalogs is becoming obvious. Nothing more exemplifies the popularity of digital catalogs than the fact that the Apple app store now has a separate category for catalogs.
Ecommerce encourages a “search-find-buy” pattern where a customer will have to search for a product, locate it and make the purchase. This works well when people are looking to buy a specific product, but this is not how the bulk of retailing takes place in the real world. Leading retailers have traditionally encouraged their customers to discover their products and engage with the customer to provide them with a positive experience. The catalog is styled on a “discover-engage-buy” pattern, which relates more closely to what the customer wants.
The digital catalog provides viewers with an inspiring visual experience, educating them about the uses of the products and taking them through how they can best use the product on offer. Traditional paper-based catalogs has a big limitation in that even after providing such an experience, the customer had to break off and approach the retailer separately on their own. With digital catalogs now integrating the shopping cart, the retailer can hope to cash in the positive experience much better and faster.
Consumers spend about three to six minutes on average when browsing through a retailer’s website whereas they spend an average of 30 minutes on a digital catalog accessed through a tablet or a smart phone.
Digital catalogs simplify the online shopping process. Rather than wait painstakingly to input the search parameters, refine it repeatedly to identify the right product, all the while waiting multiple times for the browser to load and then use the keyboard to review and select the product, the digital catalogs allow completing the entire process with a few clicks of the mouse or a quick swipe of the finger.