By Aimee Chanthadavong

It may be about apps this and app that but one marketing platform that is withstanding the test of times is the good old catalogues.

New research from Roy Morgan reveals printed catalogues are the most useful channel for making purchasing decisions in key product categories including groceries, toys and cosmetics. In fact in 10 of the 28 categories surveyed, catalogues provide great value to retailers despite the move towards digital.

Other categories in which catalogues were considered the most useful by consumers were alcoholic beverages, clothing and fashion, home furnishings, children’s wear, large kitchen/laundry supplies, home entertainment and small electrical appliances.

David Webster, head of Salmat target media solutions, said catalogues continue to perform solidly and have shown great resilience in a difficult year for the traditional media channels.

“Catalogues resonate with consumers because they are tangible, with paper-based communication seen as more trusted, credible and useful. Reaching consumers in a comfortable environment such as their own home, where they’re feeling relaxed lends to a greater likelihood that they will absorb the content and take further action,” he said.

In particular toy catalogues continue to hold the monopoly over other platforms as the most useful media for information when purchasing toys. One in two Australians above the age of 14 regarded catalogues to be twice as useful as the internet when purchasing toys.

“At this time of year, when many retailers hold their annual toy sales, catalogues are the single most important customer communication channel for retailers to promote their discounted prices and special offers to attract customers’ in-store,” Webster said.

This research resonated with the Annual Catalogue Industry Report 2012/13, which was conducted by the Australian Catalogue Association. It shows catalogues is the fourth largest channel to market with a conservative industry size of $1.5 billion and effectively reaches 18.25 million Australians every week.

Kellie Northwood, executive director of the Australian Catalogue Association, said it’s evident there’s still support for traditional marketing platforms.

“For consumers, the inherent value of catalogues remains the same – they are engaging, tactile and effective. For retailers, catalogues provide the opportunity to communicate both product and brand messages to an undistracted audience,” she said.