More Catalogs Adding E-commerce Channels

The number of print catalogs with e-commerce sites grew from 8,675 to 8,894 between March 2008 and this past March, according to the 2009 National Directory of Catalogs.

Catalogs available in online-only formats totaled 2,011, up from 1,868 the prior year, while catalogs available in print-only formats decreased from 1,574 to 1,347 in the same period.

During the past five years, the number of baking catalogs jumped 353% from 16 titles to 68, produce catalogs increased 183%, from 29 to 82, and confectionery catalogs were up 138% from 74 to 176. At the same time, manufacturing catalogs showed the steepest decline—a 43% drop—from 469 to 268, and computer catalogs dropped 33%, from 313 to 209.

Book catalogs continued to top the list during that same five-year period, with 1,156 in 2009, up from 1,071 in 2004. The other largest catalog categories are apparel and accessories, numbering 819 catalogs, up from 711, and automotive, with 593 catalogs, up from 389 in 2004.

In addition to books, apparel, and automotive, the other most popular mail order categories are education (528 catalog), gardening and horticulture (422 titles) and gifts and greeting cards (358), according to the 2009 National Directory of Catalogs.

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