Really, I don’t think it is too surprising that consumers value catalogs more than social media for shopping information whether they eventually buy in-store or online. It’s comparing apples to oranges.
This chart comes from The Baynote Blog and makes this point:
The survey was fielded by the eTailing Group and surveyed 1,000 shoppers that use tablets and/or smartphones. The results of the survey found that paper catalogues still hold a lot of weight when it comes to influencing holiday purchases. But why?
The paper catalogue offers an aesthetically pleasing way to view a variety of products, provides an experience of sorts and is typically delivered directly to you. In some ways, it creates a more direct interaction with the brand than a social media fan page post or a “pin” might. As a result, the tried-and-true paper catalog is a more powerful influencer when it comes to purchase decisions. According to the survey, paper catalogs influenced twice as many consumers as both Pinterest and Twitter for both in-store and online purchases.
Comparing social media to catalogs isn’t a fair comparison. A catalog exists to sell you a product, a social site exists to share thoughts, ideas, pictures and more on a wide variety of life experiences. Maybe comparing a magazine to social would be a little more logical.
However, the point is that printed catalogs still have a valuable place in marketing to consumers.