Are Millennials the new catalogue readers?

by Daniel Salter
11 September 2017
ACA Report 2017
Who would have thought Millennials would be driving Australian catalogue consumption in 2017? We break down the Australasian Catalogue Association’s 2017 Industry Report to discuss these and other key catalogue trends.

You heard it here first. Millennials are reading catalogues! Yes, it’s not just your nonna who is reading the latest catalogue deals. It seems Millennials do, too.

This is just one of the many trends revealed in The Australasian Catalogue Association’s 2017 Industry Report. The annual report outlines the changing trends in catalogue consumption and this year there are some surprises.

“Whether aiming for reach, readership or path to purchase, catalogues and letterbox marketing hold an enviable position and the research continues to show the strength of a proven and well-established advertising channel,” says ACA CEO Kellie Northwood.

We pick out the key trends below:

Catalogues has the highest reach

Letterbox took the top spot for audience reach (20.1m), beating both commercial radio (18m) and newspapers (16.8m) to the top spot. Growing population figures across metro and regional areas have been a key factor in bolstering catalogue readership. Letterbox benefits from the flexibility to grow with population changes in both regional and metro areas quickly and easily.

Audience Reach

  • Letterbox: 20.1m
  • Newspapers: 16.8m
  • Magazines: 12.5m
  • Television(free-to-air): 14m
  • Television (subscription TV): 3.08m

Catalogue volumes remain steady 

Catalogue distribution has remained relatively stable over the past seven years. Volumes have deviated by a minimal ±5%. Catalogues have benefited from increased targeting in the sector, which suggests that volumes are being supported by new campaigns as opposed to increased volumes from existing catalogue users. 

Grocery still on top   

Unsurprisingly catalogue remains a favourite medium for Grocery (ALDI, Coles and Woolworths) and speciality retail (David Jones, Myer, Harris Scarfe and Harvey Norman). ACA identified Electricals (2.7%) as a segment to watch for catalogue, being a rapidly growing vertical sought after by customers.

Top 5 catalogue buyers by segment

  • Grocery: 21.8%
  • Department stores: 12.2%
  • Speciality retail: 9.8%
  • Furniture: 8.9%
  • Other: 8.6%

Millennials are reading catalogues 

A massive 82% of Millennials read direct mail from retail brands, according to ACA. What’s more, more than half look forward to receiving hard-copy retail catalogues in the mail. Couple this with the trend towards increased personalisation, and we could see retailers increasingly targeting different demographics/personas with their printed catalogue. 

“We are already seeing catalogue production and distribution shift from ‘one size fits all’ to a more segmented and tailored approach. Personalisation is the key to the future.”
Chelsea Hinchliffe, Publications Manager, Dan Murphy’s

Letterbox and Digital: a strong media mix

Catalogue sustained the top position for ‘media most useful’ for a wide range of categories, most notably for groceries (50%), alcoholic beverages (43%), and children’s wear (38%). The Internet topped the chart as the media most useful across 22 of the 28 categories. It will be interesting to see how these two channels converge over the coming years as brands capitalise on both print and digital catalogues.

To view the full ACA 2017 report click here.

Want to become an expert in letterbox marketing? Find out more here or or call us on 1300 725 628.

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About the author
Daniel Salter
National Sales Director - Lasoo

Having completed a Bachelor’s degree in E-commerce Daniel was first employed by IBM, which put his trajectory on the path towards Salmat, where in 2007, he set up Salmat's Digital Catalogue business with Paul Marshall and Matt Mason. Today, Daniel is a Business Consultant within the Group Solutions Team, where he spends his time looking for new opportunities to differentiate and innovate Salmat's Media business by analysing market trends and listening to what Salmat's retail customers want.

More articles by Daniel Salter