No more printing of product catalogs; it is a digital age, act accordingly!

(Updated)

Many companies spend thousands of dollars on great looking product catalogs with hi-resolution pictures and wealth of information about their products. These catalogs are made with a nice feel heavy stock paper and its glossy pages make the text and products stand out. The catalogs still tend to be a top choice for presenting products for many companies.

Even with a large movement for ecological awareness, sustainability, and paper-free initiatives, it may still make business sense to continue to print the catalogs to impress the customer or to leave behind reference material.

Since many companies print product catalogs, your potential or current customers may have tons of catalogs from various companies and a dozen re-visioned catalogs from yours.  It goes without saying that placing a burden on your customer to keep the catalogs in order, and most importantly manually searching for your specific catalog for ordering is not desirable. There must be an alternative!

There are many flaws in the printed catalog approach. While you catalog may look great and present the information on the pages in the most effective manner, there are some significant issues:

  • Slow search – One has to use the Index or flip through the pages to find the product or required information
  • Expensive revisioning – Fixing a typo, pricing, or incorrect information means re-printing another version
  • Limited usefulness and staying power – Your customer may not use your catalog for anything else other than looking up your product (explained later)

Your product catalog is already available in the PDF format, if it is not, you should have a PDF version of you catalog as soon as possible. Even if your catalog is loaded with pictures and data, the PDF file should not exceed a couple of hundred of megabytes.  Once your catalog is converted to a most widely used format in the world, many benefits are quickly realized:

  • Fast search – Type in your search keyword, and you will be immediately taken to the text or shown where the match was found
  • No cost revisioning – Change the data in your publishing application and recreate a revisioned PDF document

The PDF catalog enables the ultimate flexibility. One of the most important ones is being able to store your catalog on the USB flash drive. Why is it the most important? Customer staying power and usefulness! When your catalog is provided on the flash drive, your potential customer or established customer may use the flash drive for day-to-day computing tasks as well as seeing your catalog when the flash drive is used.

Fast product searches, inexpensive revisioning, and staying on top on the catalog heap are all great reasons to switch from the conventional product catalog to an electronic one stored on the USB flash drive.

What about the price, you say? Depending on the print quantity, the price per a 90 page catalog can range from $10 to under $3.  The pricing for the USB flash drives with the digital catalog pre-load is very competitive – expect to pay $7 to $3.5 depending on your order quantity.  When the shipping price of the catalog is considered, the final price for your electronic catalog can be less, while the effectiveness can be substantially higher.

The conventional printed catalogs are beautiful to look at; however once the shine fades away the electronic catalog stored on the flash drive offers too many benefits to continue to overlook. Consider the effectiveness and the staying power of your catalog before you hit Print.

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