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Catalogs, Websites, Mobile, Tablet?
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Oh, the transition of shopping. On any given day all of our mailboxes (or at least the majority of them) still receive catalogs, which feature the age-old way of shopping where the reader earmarks things they want and then calls the 1-800 number to purchase. This eventually evolved to taking that catalog, still earmarking what was wanted, but purchasing could be done via the World Wide Web. And today? Today it’s all up in the air because shopping has options. Purchase via one click on a mobile phone or search and buy through a tablet. Does this mean catalogs are dead or are they just in a new online format?

Back a couple years ago the talk was around mobile purchasing. That would be THE thing to do. So brands got ready, made sure they were mobile accessible, and waited. Customers are purchasing in this mobile world, but it seems that this practice won’t be the game-changer everyone mentioned. Because tablets are where it’s at — well, for purchasing, at least. And this makes sense. Tablets are bigger, allowing the opportunity to get a clearer picture of what someone is purchasing. It’s also known that during nightly TV time, viewers are gathered with their mobile devices (probably in case Mom calls) and also their tablets (probably for mindless searching and purchasing).

So it’s not so much that mobile lost out on shopping, but instead the details are getting a bit clearer. Maybe for consistent ongoing purchases, like diapers from Amazon or medicine from CVS, mobile will be the tool of choice. But for those purchases that include search and visual appeal maybe the tablet is key. It makes sense as tablets have a bigger screen and provide for the ability to see multiple products in one screen. And catalogs? Maybe the new catalog is a little thing called Pinterest.

Just because new technology comes out doesn’t mean that older options go away. Instead there are opportunities to use new technology for older options. So maybe catalogs are used to inspire and drive customers to the website instead of driving purchases. And maybe mobile is used to spark interest that can later be followed through with a tablet purchase. No one has this purchasing trail figured out completely, so it’s important to continue to evolve and identify which devices provide what actions. Happy shoppers and happy purchasing.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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