Chances are you have ordered at least one item online within the past month or two. Stop and think about it: where did you find this item? Was it an item you saw on TV or was it an item you saw in that stack of junk mail that quickly piles up on your kitchen tables (or whichever location in your household you choose to stash the junk mail)? You know the junk mail you swear you’ll look at one day, but just end up throwing it in the trash weeks or months later. Chances are the online item you ordered was the result of going online and shopping. Maybe you visited your favorite store’s website, saw an advertisement on another website or got an e-mail about an online sale.
Stop and think about the last time you’ve ordered something from a print catalog. Even more importantly, stop and think about the last time you’ve even taken the time to flip through a print catalog. It’s probably become pretty clear that print catalogs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Print is out and online catalogs and shopping are in.
The print catalog originated in 1744 by Benjamin Franklin, according to the National Mail Order Association. Franklin is believed to be the first cataloger in the United States. In his catalog, he sold science and academic books. Chances are you may never have even heard of his catalog. However, you have probably heard of the 1872 catalog, Montgomery Ward. Montgomery Ward really got the catalog industry booming. Ever since you could purchase clothes, underwear, appliances, make-up, toys, electronics and even food through the use of catalogs.
Today, you may notice fewer and fewer of these once extremely popular catalogs popping up in your mail box. Why? Catalogs are expensive to prepare, print and mail. They become quickly outdated and just aren’t looked at like they were before the ages of mobile technology.
Today, online catalogs are were a majority of shopping is completed. Here are some of the major benefits of online catalogs:
- Cheaper to develop.
- Easier to maintain; business owners know the second an item sells out. Additionally, prices can be changed.
- Inventory can be added at any time.
- Most everyone has a smartphone, laptop or tablet.
- Online catalogs can be looked at on the go on items most people carry in the pocket or purse.
- Technology enables site viewers to see every little detail of an item before purchasing.
- Shopping can be done on the go.
- Online catalogs can make searching for the item of your choice much easier. You simply run a search instead of flipping through the pages.