Fancy Flours cooks up a print catalog

Hoping to generate more dough, cake and cookie decorating supplies Web merchant Fancy Flours has mailed its first print catalog.

The book was sent to 50,000 customers and prospects over two drops, says Fancy Flours president/founder Nancy Quist. She plans to distribute two catalogs a year, one in the fall and one in the spring.

The 52-page holiday catalog caters to home bakers, food stylists, and small bakery owners, and sells such products as cake toppers, cookie cutters, and a rainbow of colored sugars. The book also includes tips for holiday party planning, facts about baking history, and information on how to use the products.

Quist says the online average order from existing customers has jumped from $40-$50 to about $200. Prospects also spent more than the existing average sale. She suspects the visual nature of her product line lends itself to better presentation in a catalog than on a Web page.

Still, “we never anticipated that degree of an average order increase,” says Quist, a retired marketing executive who started the company in 2002. “We knew very little about catalogs, we just jumped in and got our feet wet.”

Fancy Flours decided to launch a catalog rather than try to expandthe busines from its single store in Bozeman, MT. “We decided we have a very highly segmented product offer,” says Quist.

“One of the beauties of having such a niche offering is you can go after your prospects with a rifle rather than a shot gun.”

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