Catalog shopping is alive and well

Catalog shopping is alive and well

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Bonobos is an online men's clothing store. The company tried something new in 2013 by trying something, well, old. Bonobos mailed to some customers a traditional catalog. The results were very surprising to these Internet retailers: the catalog attracted more customers to the website.

Bonobos' catalog circulation has now increased. The catalog experiment taught the company some important information about their customers: shoppers spent more time looking at traditional paper catalogs then the clothing line's website and when customers did order from the catalog they typically spent more money.

In fact marketing experts say many retailers still spend lots of money on mailing you catalogs. Last year, marketers mailed out 11.9 billion catalogs, the direct marketing association says.

So what gives? If we can get everything need from our smartphones or computers why look at a catalog? Turns out we like to browse and picture ourselves in that outfit on that vacation. We need inspiration -- and sometimes you just can't get that online.

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