The ACA is active in commissioning and promoting research into the catalogue industry which helps media buyers to make an informed decision when considering different marketing channels. The Annual Catalogue Industry Report 2012/13 released by the ACA combines the latest research from Australia and across the globe and presents a complete view of the industry at present. A snapshot of the research into the popularity, effectiveness and ROI of catalogues is given below:-

  • 66% of Australians aged 14+ read catalogues in an average 4 week period. Australians aged 50+ are the strongest consumers with 73% reading print catalogues and 8% viewing online. Most powerfully they prefer digital communication methods with a strong 54% reading the print catalogue.
  • 65% of consumers expressed a preference for receiving catalogues via letterbox only versus 17% preferring only email delivery.
  • OMD’s Brand Science reports an integrated campaign delivers even higher ROI when adding channels to catalogue campaigns. TV campaigns are 37% more effective when an integrated campaign is used, a figure that rises to 62% for online catalogues.
  • Catalogues are judged the media most useful when making purchasing decision in 11 of 28 product categories, according to Roy Morgan Single Source surveys in 2012.
  • Australia has a unique tradition of household letterbox distribution, which far outstrips other media options in cost effectiveness and sheer popularity with retailers and consumers alike.
  • Retailers know how powerful home delivered catalogues can be, and this is evidenced by their popularity as the significant medium of choice.
  • Consumers tell us that they are retaining catalogues longer and using them more often when making their household purchase decisions.
  • Due to its effectiveness, catalogue advertising is the one medium that has provided spectacular and continued growth over the last decade.
  • As most catalogues have a cut-off date, it’s important that retailers are certain of getting their message to their target audience at the right time.
  • Neither the electronic media nor magazines can hope to provide the economy, the immediacy and the tight targeting of store catchment areas that a catalogue campaign provides.
  • The Australian catalogue industry supports a workforce of 60,000 people including 30,000 walkers and represents an advertising expenditure over $2 Billion.
  • In 2012, over 8 billion catalogues, distributed primarily through household letterboxes, were produced by retailers.
  • Since its inception, the Australian Catalogue Association has undertaken a number of research projects designed to assess consumers’ attitudes to catalogues and letterbox marketing and to monitor catalogue advertising effectiveness.
  • New consumer research conducted by Sweeney and economic benefits research completed by Castalia has been commissioned and funded by the member companies of the ACA. It has been provided by the industry to assist catalogue marketers and their advertising agencies in making critical media decisions related to readership, sales and consumer spending.
  • The following links contain detailed research commissioned by the ACA on consumer attitudes, economic benefits, environmental sustainability and effectiveness of catalogues.

Catalogue advertising

The catalogue industry has maintained positive growth over the past years at a lower cost per catalogue. The lower cost has been due to lower paper prices from offshore paper mills and competition amongst printers and distributors.