One of our childhood holiday staples: The Sears Wish Book catalog. I can remember hoarding the book away from my brothers and dog-earing pages so that I could effectively complete my list for Santa. This year Sears, in addition to issuing a printed version of the Wish Book (I didn’t get mine, did you?), issued an interactive version to allow customers to turn virtual pages online.
"For years the Sears Holiday Wish Book has brought Christmas to life for kids of all ages, and made holiday shopping easier and more fun for our customers," said Imran Jooma, senior vice president for Online at Sears Holdings. "While there is still a printed version of the Wish Book, the new interactive version puts a new twist on an old tradition and brings even more value to our customers by allowing them to easily browse and shop online at their convenience."
What took you so long Sears? Novel idea- using the internet to suppor one of your most highly anticipated tactics of the entire year.
In a surprising flip, one of the most respected online retailers of our time, Zappos.com (recently acquired by Amazon.com) has mailed 750,000 copies of a printed catalog. Their goal is to re-engage with lapsed online consumers as well as to appeal to those who are more inclined to the paper medium versus a pixilated one.
“Different people respond to different media,” said Aaron Magness, director for brand marketing and business development at Zappos.com in Henderson, Nev. According to Mr. Magness, Zappos is planning a spring catalog for 2010 and perhaps others with themes like “weddings, in June, or housewares, around Thanksgiving.”
Sears is backing away from print, Zappos.com is moving towards it. How long before the two retailers find the balance and maximize marketing bang for their buck? I can’t wait to see…but first, I have to go shopping.