The Catalogue – next generation technology…

IKEA have done the mail order industry a huge favour.

From now on, everytime we face a crazy person who suggests the catalogue doesn’t have a place in our 21st century world – just show them this great video.

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A Retailer’s Guide to Webrooming [eCommerce Infographic]

You’ve probably heard of ‘showrooming’ – where a customer comes into a store to work out what they’re going to buy online. Well, welcome to ‘webrooming’ – where the opposite happens!
Webrooming is when a customer looks at your website to research what they want before they come in to see you – if you’ve got the tech set up they may even click and collect.
A must look for any Bricks and Clicks businesses… [Read more…]

Royal Mail Strike – November 4th 2013, how to prepare

This week the CWU have confirmed that they will go on strike on November 4th for 24 hours.

Talks are continuing so the strike may yet be called off – but in the meantime what should you be doing to prepare?

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The art of great direct mail isn’t dead!

Although you have to shell out a lot of money upfront, a good piece of Direct Mail will still bring a great return for you. A good campaign relies on getting 3 things right – your data, your mailing piece, and the offer.

This is something Lovefilm are superb at getting right, let me explain… [Read more…]

Direct Marketing: Direct Profit? [infographic]

As this post goes live I’ll be at the annual ECMOD conference, where the UK’s mail order industry get together to discuss the latest industry developments. So, I thought we’d feature a Direct Mail infographic this week.

These are USA stats – but the general picture is very similar in the UK. Ignore the post at your peril!

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Direct Mail UK 2012 [infographic]

You might not expect this from a website called “eCommerce MasterPlan” – but we are in favour of direct mail!

And here’s an infographic that explains why – it’s still one of the best way ways to drive traffic to your site, but remains expensive and risky (just wait for the next Royal Mail strike).

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You Don’t Have To Be Big To Test A Catalogue…

I was recently asked the following question, and I thought the answer could be useful to many people – so here it is:

Question: Every year I tell myself I should put together a mail order brochure for Christmas and it always gets too daunting and doesn’t get done.  To be honest I don’t quite know where to start with this, do you have a template that might get me on my way?

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What Promotions did you use in 2012?

I came across this graph in the March issue of Direct Commerce magazine and just had to share it with you!

It’s shows what promotions were being put on the front cover of Mail Order catalogues in 2011 and 2012 – month by month. How does it stack up to what you were doing? [Read more…]

Home Shopping Annual Trends – Shocking end to 2012

Earlier this month Abacus published the latest copy of their Home Shopping Trends report. It’s packed with cracking data on monthly sales performance in the Home Shopping marketplace. So whilst not covering the whole of eCommerce, it gives us a great set of benchmarks for understanding industry performance in the UK – if you’ve never read it you need to download a copy and sit down with it and a nice cup of coffee.

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EU Threat to Mail Order Industry – Act Now!

This is a bit of heavy topic for a Monday morning – but it’s too important to wait to Tuesday!


There is new EU Data Protection Regulation on it’s way that in it’s current form aims to outlaw database profiling. This will remove lots of targeting and segmentation techniques – basically making mailing less effective, leading to more catalogues being printed and mailed to keep order volumes up.

It’s also proposing to make 3rd party mailing preference an active opt-in. This might not have a big effect in the first year, but it a few years down the line it will kill off the list rental, and data-swap markets – that will put retailers out of business.

What should you do? [Read more…]