Is your catalog ready for the 2023 holiday shopping season?

Published On: September 21st, 2023|By |6.5 min read|

Are you prepared for whatever the Holiday 2023 shopping season has in store?

Consumer spending during the Holiday 2022 season shifted some, returning to more “typical” levels compared to the outsized holiday spending seen in 2020 and 2021, when consumers spent and shopped more—likely as a result of plans, trips, and others celebrations that were stifled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

But in 2023, the economy faces some uncertainty. While holiday consumer spending is expected to stay close to the same figures as last year, engaging with shoppers is more important than ever. What should retail marketers expect—and how can they craft a catalog that meets today’s consumers where they are?

Whether you’re opting to publish a printed copy of your catalog or incorporate a digital catalog into your holiday retail strategy, here are a few considerations to get your seasonal catalog ready.

Incorporate Interactive Digital Content

Digital catalogs are one way that retailers are helping customers dive deeper into their brand, explore their products, and learn more about who they are and what they have to offer.

Digital catalogs are available anywhere and can be published and distributed at a lower cost than paper catalogs, but they also present a unique opportunity for interactive content.

With interactive content, brands can use digital formats to go beyond what’s possible with paper catalogs. This includes elements like:

  • Collapsible and expandable sections
  • Free-form navigation to jump to specific pages or sections
  • Clickable links to product listings and content
  • New tabs connecting consumers to even more products, videos, and additional content

Some brands are exploring what’s possible with this interactive content. Within SteinMart’s digital catalog, every page is organized like its own individual site that organizes products by style groups, divided up by collections and even life events to let shoppers interact with the retailer exactly how they want.

  • The clickable header at the top of every page allows readers to jump to different departments and categories with one tap.
  • The bottom of each page includes a call to action to expand the shopping experience and browse a related category, page, or department.

There are so many more opportunities available to engage with consumers via a digital catalog that go just beyond the page—and the holiday shopping season is a perfect opportunity to anticipate customer needs, offer purchasing suggestions, and drive overall brand engagement.

Encourage Engagement with QR Codes

QR codes (quick-response codes) were emerging as the “next big thing” in 2011 when 14 million Americans started using their mobile devices to pick up links on the go, but then this trend started to slow down—and even die off, according to some reports. This is because, at the time, QR codes required secondary scanner apps, making the real-life application of this technology clunky at best.

Now, smartphones have built-in QR scanning capabilities, streamlining the process and removing the unnecessary steps of downloading and opening a third-party application. Particularly after the pandemic, QR code usage is on the rise as a fast way to share information and a hands-free option instead of restaurant menus or printed handouts.

In 2021, 75.8 million smartphone users in the U.S. scanned a QR code on their mobile devices, and this figure is anticipated to climb to 99.5 million American smartphone users by 2025.

The main things consumers are using these codes for currently include accessing promotional offers, but by 2024 or 2025, QR codes will also be used for things like accessing payment portals and more.

How should retailers think about using QR codes in their Holiday 2023 catalogs?

  • To encourage readers to download the retailer’s app in both print and digital media (including videos and images)
  • To enhance the reader experience and encourage them to learn more about a product, read a story about a product user, case study, or unique use-case scenario
  • To include “Santa tags” as some retailers have done, and include a scannable QR code with any purchase to link gift recipients to a personalized audio message recorded by the gift-giver
  • To share step-by-step instructions (for gifted furniture or complex, multi-part toys, for example)
  • To view exclusive, holiday-themed video content
  • To unlock a promotional code or sign up for promotional emails

Find Inspiration for Social Interaction

In 2022, the holiday shopping season saw increased commerce coming in via social channels. This is because more consumers are discovering brands and products—and making purchases—through social media ads and social content. In fact, during last year’s holiday season, traffic referrals from social media content rose by 23 percent, which accounted for 12 percent of all mobile eCommerce traffic.

This trend won’t likely be slowing for the 2023 season, and retailers should look to social media as a significant investment to bring new traffic to their digital stores. Social media is a major player in connecting with new customers and driving discovery.

In particular, the social platform TikTok is a big reason social media-based sales are expected to grow during the 2023 holiday shopping season. Many target audiences contribute to this growth by jumping on the #TikTokmademebuyit trend and making some products go viral. Now that TikTok has expanded into selling, social commerce is anticipated to grow by 29.8 percent in 2023.

Lifestyle and consumer brands should use this time to find strategies to maximize their social media reach via their catalogs and help drive conversions. Social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok can amplify retail brands through strategies like in-app live-streamed shopping content and links to digital product catalogs to bring catalogs and social media together to connect with consumers.

A Strong Connection to Digital Assets and Product Inventory

Especially as more consumers prefer to use their mobile devices for browsing and purchasing, dynamic digital catalogs will become increasingly important to the holiday shopping season. In fact, across the retail industry, mobile devices account for 77 percent of all traffic during the peak shopping season in 2022, which is a 4 percent increase over the previous year and 65 percent of all buying sessions, up 5 percent from 2021.

This means catalogs should be stocked with the most effective digital assets and the latest, most accurate product information to provide consumers with the best online shopping experience.

What does this mean? Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Product Information Management (PIM) solutions are more critical than ever in the intersection of digital catalogs, eCommerce, and mobile shopping.

Retailers can use DAM tools to prep their catalogs by tracking metadata on compelling images, videos, and other digital assets that can help make the most impact for print and online catalogs. They can also use a DAM solution to create, review, publish, and share holiday-specific assets and media, manage versioning, streamline workflows, and simplify and transparent communication regarding peak season.

As for PIM solutions? These can keep online catalogs automatically updated with the latest product information and marketing data with product identifiers, titles, descriptions, images, pricing, quantities, and more.

Tackle the Holiday 2023 Season Head-on with LAGO

LAGO by Comosoft is the ultimate tool in preparing for the busy holiday season. Why? Because this PIM DAM solution has been intentionally engineered to make publishing—and multichannel marketing in general—easier and more potent than ever before.

Creating catalogs is a breeze with LAGO, which updates drafts in real time as assets are updated and revised. Layouts, edits, and versioning workflows are stress-free, as there’s never a question about who’s responsible for completing a task or which assets are licensed, up-to-date, and available for particular campaigns.

What’s more, you can use LAGO to create your free-form and dynamic digital catalog for the holiday season, then connect it directly to the shared PIM system to align your eCommerce initiatives with your marketing campaigns for a smooth workflow and a seamless customer experience.

Ready to learn more about how you can revolutionize your Holiday 2023 catalog campaign? Request a demo today!

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