The Electronic Catalog: Catalogers Make Their E-Resolutions for 2002

It’s too soon to raise a glass and toast the new year, but it’s not too early to plan your new year’s resolutions. CATALOG AGE asked several marketers for their Web-related resolutions for 2002.

“Our resolution for 2002 is to make the Naturalizer Web shopping experience as much fun as shopping in our stores. We’re playing with the technology to enable our Web customers to virtually pick up the shoe, turn it over, look at it from all angles, see it in its true color, and then, with a click, change the color.”
BRAD ADAMS, vice president of marketing for Naturalizer.com, the Internet divison for St. Louis, MO-based shoe manufacturer/marketer Naturalizer.

“Lagniappe Marketing of Cincinnati is now going to do the marketing for our Website, including sending opt-in customers daily communications and weekly mailings highlighting our sales and specials of the week. We’ve spent the past three months getting our entire system, including our database, upgraded to allow our marketing company to do this. We’ll also be able to track customer behavior on the site and see who visited and if they abandoned their shopping cart. If they did abandon their cart, we’ll e-mail them to ask why they did not complete their purchase.”
WILLIAM DEMAS, senior vice president/general manager for medical and educational chart products cataloger Anatomical Chart Co., based in Skokie, IL.

“We have two resolutions for our Website — and our business — for 2002. Both of them are a response not only to our general growth but also to the events of Sept. 11.

“First, we plan to increase our e-mail communications with our customers and not be afraid to say what’s on our mind as a company. For example, two days after the attacks, we wrote a letter that essentially said that in light of the unspeakable acts of terrorism, we believe that people can connect across different cultures through their handcraft and works. We received more than 200 responses, which is 10 times as many responses as we’ve ever received to any e-mail, and all of the letters were favorable. Our president also sent out a letter giving his account of returning to New York from Turkey, where he was during the attacks. That letter generated about 100 comments, all positive.

“Second, we will continue to sell handcrafted goods by Afghani artisans. We sell lapis-and-silver items such as belts made by the Kuchi Indians, and sell lapis earrings and necklaces made by Afghani refugees who fled their homes in 1978 when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan and have been moving ever since. It’s a point of principle for us to continue to sell products from artisans from everywhere in the world. We’re up in the air about sourcing the Afghani products, however. We don’t know how easy it will be in the future.”
JOHN VOELCKER, vice president of business development for multicultural gifts cataloger Eziba, based in North Adams, MA.

“We’re going to handle increasing amounts of customer service issues digitally, including detailed order and shipment tracking, live customer chat, personalized customer e-mails and automated voice inquiry. Basically we’re interested in sharing key pieces of information with our customers about products and order status so that we continually decrease unnecessary and costly customer service questions.”
JIM JOHNSON, president/chief operating officer of New York-based teen apparel cataloger Alloy.

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