Print is a major driver of online sales. Print is a powerful media…and its power is multiplied when used as part of a multi-channel campaign. Print enhances the impact of television, telemarketing, and the internet by providing an extra dimension that's warm, inviting, highly personalizable, and technologically savvy.
Studies show that print advertising drives consumers to online shopping. For example, a study by the Direct Marketing Association shows that 78% of consumers react to direct mail immediately; when they receive mail from a brand that they're interested in, 44% visit the brand's website and 34% search online for more information about the product. Furthermore, a Canada Post study found that 25% of print catalogs trigger a website visit (and 33% trigger a visit to a retail store).
A 2015 InfoTrends study found that catalogs are effective at triggering both online and retail purchases; 62% of consumers receiving catalogs who made a purchase within the last three months were influenced by the catalog. This finding echoed that of an earlier study by global management consulting firm Kurt Salmon showing that print catalogs directly boost online sales. They do this by increasing purchase intent – 58% of online shoppers surveyed said they browse catalogs for ideas, and 31% have a retailer's catalog handy when they make an online purchase – and by increasing the average order size (compared to internet-only customer shopping) by 12.5%.
Retail fliers and magazine ads can also be quite effective. The Canada Post study found that 92% of consumers get ideas for household shopping trips from the printed flyers they receive. Quad Graphics found that a surprising 49% of Millennials (supposedly the "digital generation") use retail advertising inserts to make their shopping list. In addition, 68.4% of all readers purchase products and services from ads seen in publications.
New Opportunities-New Vision
While online and mobile use continues to grow, marketers are acknowledging and voting with their dollars that print media is a vital component of the marketing mix. Print is an integral vehicle in cross media platforms, employing innovative technologies, including PURLS, QR codes, augmented reality, and intelligent print imaging, to bridge the gap between the real and digital worlds.
 UK Direct Marketing Association, "From Letterbox to Inbox 2013."
 Canada Post, "Breaking Through The Noise," 2015
 InfoTrends, "Direct Marketing Production Printing & Value-Added Services: A Strategy for Growth," December 2015.
 Kurt Salmon, "Is the Catalog Dead? Not in the Omnichannel World," 2013.
 Canada Post, "Breaking Through The Noise," 2015.
 Quad Graphics, "Millennials: An Emerging Consumer Powerhouse," December 2015.
 The City and Regional Magazine Association (CRMA), "2016 City & Regional Magazine Readership Study," April 2016.