As each year passes, so does the era of the paper catalog. Although once popular, and in fact critical for a business, the paper catalog has peaked and is now in decline. In its place stands a much cheaper and eco friendlier product, the eCatalog. The eCatalog is an electronic or Flash catalog which allows for a business to distribute its collection of products to customers in a much more effective manner. The transition from paper to electronic catalogs is fueled by its many advantages in the current marketplace.
- The time that it takes to acquire an eCatalog is a fraction of what is spent getting a catalog printed. One can submit the “catalog” electronically as a graphic or a PDF. Then within about 3 days, a final product is sent back to the creator ready to be used on a website or distributed to a customer.
- Ecatalogs are the epitome of being ecofriendly. With all the buzz being about going green, a business can gain benefit from this by utilizing an electronic catalog. These Flash catalogs don’t require any use of paper or similar materials that would cause consumption of trees and the like. Going green is definitely a big advantage.
- Paper catalogs are just plain expensive. The cost of inks, printing, etc. is a consideration that must be dealt with in the paper world. eCatalogs soar high above the traditional printing version in terms of cost effectiveness. Additionally, a business would only have to pay for one eCatalog, and doesn’t have to consider a quantity in terms of how many they wish to print.
- In order to provide paper catalogs to customers, they have to be mailed out or be distributed in a way that causes the physical catalog to be provided to the customers. In addition to the printing expenses, distribution costs, such as mailing, etc. can be just as expensive as printing the traditional catalogs. With eCatalogs, there are no distribution costs.
- Each paper catalog has a limit, and that is, it can only be at one place at a time. Plus, if something happens, such as it gets lost, or thrown out, or even left at another place (home, office, etc.), then the catalog can’t be used. With an online Flash catalog, a customer can simply go back online and download a new one. Sharing an eCatalog with a friend or colleague is easy as well. The customer can just direct someone to the website where it can be downloaded.
- Social media in the modern “social age” makes an eCatalog easy to share, distribute, and talk about. Customers can speak to other customers about catalogs, but what about sharing, liking, and tweeting. Facebook, Twitter, and similar social media sites make referring other potential clients easy and very economical for the business with the eCatalog. A great catalog can even go viral and get distributed to the masses, essentially free of charge.
- Once an eCatalog has been created, and uploaded to a website, customers don’t have to wait for a catalog. In fact, not only can they have immediate access, but they also have future access 24/7. When someone is shopping, an eCatalog is ready for them to shop, causing a much higher sales conversion, than a paper catalog that reaches a customer long after the shopping experience occurred.
- eCatalogs give a business a clear competitive advantage over businesses that don’t have them. In fact, the eCatalog itself is a substantial branding tool. The eCatalog gives a business the opportunity to “speak” to their customers, and provide information about products, policies, and about the company itself. By providing this to their customers, a business can soar above their competition.
- eCatalogs are primarily designed using Flash technology. This technology is compatible almost categorically to all Internet users. There are no real limits on access, and in fact, Flash catalogs are the norm, so operating systems, mobile devices and the like are designed to make the customer experience very reliable and enjoyable when reviewing an electronic catalog.
- Paper catalogs are perishable. They tear and get drinks spilled on them. The dog eats them, or kids color on them with crayons. Any number of things can happen to a physical catalog. In the electronic catalog world, things like this don’t happen. The eCatalog has considerable more life span than its paper counterpart.
Across the web, smart businesses are finding that using an electronic or eCatalog for their business is simply a smart decision. With winning features such as price point, accessibility, customer loyalty, free distribution, including social media, and even more, businesses are wise to put the small amount of money into their catalogs, and go electronic.