Power of print? I guess it’s only appropriate, since I blogged my confusion of an old medium trying to replicate itself in a new medium, that I point to this story in USA Today about eBay sending out a few million catalogs.
“This is a next major step for us,” says Michael Dearing, eBay’s general merchandising manager. If the catalog catches on with customers, eBay will consider publishing catalogs throughout the year, he says. Catalogs are being sent to eBay customers who are representative of its 125 million users, Dearing says. The magazine-size catalog lists more than 100 products in 10 categories, including jewelry and watches, computers and electronics, toys and hard-to-find gifts such as autographed copies of former president Bill Clinton’s book, My Life. Items are listed with photos and an average selling price. Shoppers are directed to a Web site, http://www.ebay.com/catalog, to make purchases. The catalog is part of a multipronged marketing strategy by eBay. Like more-traditional retailers, it is offering a catalog to augment its Web site.
I could argue that eBay is not trying to replicate itself in print, rather is promoting itself in a new way, and therefore is not like the “digital version” strategy. But frankly, I don’t have the time now.