How To Steal Amazon’s Print Catalog Strategy

What do you do when the largest eCommerce company in the world starts to step on the toes of your promotional products business? The answer is pretty simple—you steal their thunder.

How do you do it?

By taking some notes on what they’ve done to crush sales for the last decade, and implement those into your marketing strategy.

Here’s how you can steal Amazon’s print catalog strategy and make it your own.

But First, A Little Perspective on Amazon

Let’s start by taking a quick look at what made this company what it is today. Amazon has over 126 million Prime members worldwide. Matter of fact, ⅓ U.S. people have a prime membership and spend over $1.4k a year on the platform.

That world domination was built completely on a digital strategy. Amazon is one of the largest search engines, advertising platforms, and digital catalogs in the world. Their website isn’t the prettiest, but it is one of the most innovative.

It’s this innovative approach to the digital world that separated Amazon from all of the other retailers that are now dropping like flies. Their digital first strategy is also what allows them to use print in creative ways to surprise and delight customers.

Amazon’s Delightful Holiday Catalog 

I’m sure like most of the world you have your own Amazon Prime account which means you probably received their Joy Delivered Holiday Workbook/Lookbook.

It’s pretty much a kid’s ultimate guide to finding all of their Christmas presents.

Either way, it’s a piece of print marketing gold and here’s why: 

  • It’s tailored to their most important customers—Prime customers, duh!
  • It’s focused on a niche—kid’s Christmas gifts.
  • It’s experiential—the user (aka kids) can go through and experience the catalog through drawing and other interactive activities. 
  • It’s limited—they don’t include every single toy they carry, they include the most popular and best-selling that people desire.

This tool was the perfect choice for Amazon because it allowed them to pull together an awesome piece of marketing and use the print aspect to double down on customers they already know are committed to them.

NOTE: You can use all of these strategies in your next breakout catalog as well. By using breakout catalogs as the focus, you can deliver an awesome digital experience for your next potential customer. Check out our Digital Catalog Design Trends for 2021 for some ways to do so.

The print catalog isn’t all about selling, it was about creating an experience for Prime members that encourages them to shop their holiday gifts in the future.

So, what can you learn from this excellent printing tactic?

Any supplier can apply this same tactic to their marketing. Focus the majority of your time and effort on the platform that saves you money, increases distribution, and grows your ROI—digital catalogs and flyers. 

Then, once you’ve established your digital catalog strategy, look for creative ways to implement print catalogs into specific campaigns or marketing efforts. Maybe it’s for the Holidays, or maybe it’s a breakout catalog specific to a particular industry. What is important is that you are selective and engaging. 

Rather than making your print catalog the main selling tool, let it be the complement to your more trackable and cost-effective digital catalogs. In the long haul, this will cost you less money and makes your print efforts more meaningful. 

Want to learn more about how you can use ZOOMcatalog to share your digital catalog with distributors around the world? Set up a time with our team to talk about how we can help.