The reason many dot com companies have started to print catalogs and send them out is not because the online ordering system doesnt work or because people are uncomfortable with it. The reason for the catalogs is because today, the only way companies will survive is by multichannel marketing. That means television, radio, billboards, websites, buses, cabs, and most recently, boats in coastal areas. You will reach broader audiences. Your customers will become much more diversified, as they will come from all walks of life. The more people you can reach through advertising, the more money in your pocket.
One of the oldest and most relied upon methods of advertising besides word of mouth comes in the form of paper. The printed-paper has served many businesses well. Many people had thought that with the Internet becoming such a large advertising portal, catalogs would be going out of favor with businesses. However, the reverse has happened.
Defying everyones expectations, catalogs have become even bigger. The reason for their growth is the dot com businesses are becoming savvy. The want to target more consumers out there and bring them onto the Internet. People have always been comfortable with catalogs. They see something, they like, and they make their purchase by calling it in and paying with a credit card. What dot com businesses are trying to do is lure the people who are still uncomfortable with buying on the internet to jump onto the web and order online. They are using the recognized and trusted symbol of buying, catalogs, as a portal to lure those who still do not completely trust the Internet onto it anyway..
Catalogs also offer the advantage of listing more products in there for the dot com companies. Catalogs are also able to travel to parts of the house that the computer cant yet reach. They are easy on the eyes and you dont have to get online each time you think of something to buy. This is especially true for the large number of people who are not computer savvy as of yet.
Reiterating once again, the only way to stay in business these days is to use several different channels to advertise. The same policies that companies have been using for years by employing catalogs are being used by the new dot com companies. People who had thought that catalogs would be obsolete by now are seeing the reality. The trust and comfort people still place in the printed page is not going away anytime soon.