SkyMall, the co-op catalog distributed via airplane seat pockets, will mail its first in-home catalog next week to about 500,000 homes.
Christine Aguilera, president of the Phoenix-based company, describes the new book as a “best of” edition featuring the same retail partners as the one in-flight version. It will be 40 pages—appreciably thinner than the 180-page catalogs found in planes–and will have a different look and feel. Pages will be organized by product type rather than by catalog partner.
“Our research showed that our customers prefer to have the catalog arranged by product category instead of our current format,” Aguilera says. “It has a cleaner appearance and feel. We’re open to trying new things, and it’s cool to see SkyMall in new format.”
Though airline passengers are encouraged to take SkyMall home with them after they returned their seats to the upright position, Aguilera says the intention of the in-home version is to keep the SkyMall brand at the top of mind. “Instead of selling more product, the in-home catalog may be a reminder of what the consumer saw on the plane,” she says.
Though SkyMall’s home version is launching just prior to next month’s postal increase, Aguilera says the company has factored the rate hike into its plans. “We’re obviously concerned about postal rate increases,” Aguilera says. “But on a relative basis, it won’t impact us as much because it’s a smaller test program.”
Most of the in-home versions will be mailed to names on the SkyMall house file, with the remainder going to names rented from airline partners. SkyMall plans to mail a second catalog later this year and a third for the holiday season. It will determine a frequency for next year once it sees results.