Tips On How You Can Make Your Own Retail Catalog

To inspire consumers to shop at home or visit a store, a retail catalog should be a well-established marketing tool which means that making an effective, online or hard-copy catalog requires thorough planning, content management and production capabilities. Approach the catalog as carefully as any element included in the retailer’s marketing effort, choose design elements and select merchandise that will burnish the company’s image, present concise, well-written descriptions that are informative, creative and scrupulously accurate and finally, follow a step-by-step approach to ensure the catalog is a powerful sales tool and a source of pride for the retailer.

First, determine basic details, including the size and format of the catalog, the products to be presented, the creative approach and a possible theme, such as a seasonal tie-in then establish a budget and timetable for the project, select a graphic designer, photographer, copy writers and an art director, arrange for printing and/or a digital presentation of the catalog and finally, develop cover concepts. Choose a representative selection if only a portion of the retailer’s merchandise can be included.

Have professional high-resolution photos taken from each item selected, using styling concepts that present the article in the best light and if apparel items are to be included, use models who are consistent with your targeted consumer demographic. Include a photo of the brick and mortar store and pay special attention to images slated for the front and back covers and for a more budget-conscious approach, use file photos of the products or art furnished by the manufacturer.

Instructions on how to order products as well as other general information about the retailer should all be written alongside the descriptions for each item. A consistent editorial voice such as a catalog of novelty gift items which might take a playful, soft tone should reflect the retailer’s marketing. The product’s key attributes and options available, such as sizes, colors or flavors should be stated briefly by the copy aside from including non-product-related editorial copy such as recipes to entice readers.

All there is left to do is to create a page-by-page layout using a desktop publishing program, make final selections on content that reflect the retailer’s personality and engage the reader, incorporate the text and art in a manner that does not overwhelm the consumer, vary the sizes used for the entries and consult catalog templates available online for inspiration, assign an item number to each product and include an order form to facilitate easy ordering by mail or phone.

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