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Old 03-09-2016, 06:55 PM
 
5,392 posts, read 5,642,038 times
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How come mail order/ phone in catalog and brochure retail business model not eliminate the brick and mortar model back before the advent of internet?

It seems like internet retail is putting a beating on brick and mortar retail. Even forcing many brands to close many stores or close up shop altogether.

Well what is the difference between internet retail, and the mail in/ phone in catalog and brochure retail business? You can probably even fax in your orders. You can see pictures too.
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Old 03-09-2016, 08:15 PM
 
Location: World
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Customer thinking has changed. In those days, people wanted to see the Product before buying. They were also not sure whether Catalogue Prices are the Best? I will also add that people had more money in those days.

Nowadays customers are picky about even 1 dollar. They do not wish to Drive much as Gas Prices were high in recent years and that helped in making Online Shopping easier. One can read reviews on Online Shopping unlike Catalogue/ mail order. Payment process is arguably safer and quicker as compared to Mail order / Catalogue.

These are the reasons I think that Catalogue could not make impact on brick and mortar retail while Online Shopping has made a real dent.
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Old 03-09-2016, 08:35 PM
 
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Many of those catalog retailers were just divisions of the brick and mortar stores. Some used their same name for both, others used one name for the retail store and another for the catalog store, but it was all the same company. Additionally, many of the non affiliated catalog retailers sold items not always available in the retail stores. For many decades, manufactures had specific distribution networks that limited who had wholesale access to their products. A product sold by Sears may also be available from Montgomery Ward and Spiegel as well as select retail stores, but Joe Smith wouldn't have been able to buy as a vendor so they would be paying retail. Or put in easier terms, to-the-trade pricing was restricted.

Today, manufactures not only will negotiate pricing with anyone willing to sell their products, some have even created drop ship polices so the vendor doesn't even have to touch the product to sell it. The vendor is just an electronic order taker. You also have several distribution networks and is the reason many online purchase may be grey market items. Prior to online access, catalogs were not cheap to print, ship and process, so the spread between a brick & mortar versus a warehouse catalog vendor wasn't that far apart. The internet is cheap with instantaneous changes and modification resulting in the ability to price match or beat at the click of the vendor's button. Previously a catalog price may have been good for months until a new catalog came out.

There are so may differences it would take catalog thick volumes to explain everything.
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Old 03-09-2016, 08:49 PM
 
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Price
Convenience
Selection
Speed

Back in the days of catalog ordering, you'd sometimes have to wait weeks for products to be delivered. Returns were a hassle. Selection was limited.

Modern online retailers can get your order to you in a day or two and returns are easy. The selection is orders of magnitude larger than you'd find in a printed catalog.
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Old 03-10-2016, 07:32 AM
 
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Brick-and-mortar retailers will always prevail for the Instant Gratification crowd.
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Old 03-10-2016, 07:43 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
Price
Convenience
Selection
Speed

Back in the days of catalog ordering, you'd sometimes have to wait weeks for products to be delivered. Returns were a hassle. Selection was limited.

Modern online retailers can get your order to you in a day or two and returns are easy. The selection is orders of magnitude larger than you'd find in a printed catalog.
Back then no one offered free shipping, as we get now from Amazon Prime and many EBay sellers. Because the catalog sellers were the same brick and mortar retailers, they could actually make money on shipping while avoiding the cost of cashiers, and their call center workers did a lot better job of up-selling than store employees, because their job depended upon meeting up-sale quotas. I remember from my own family that often a trip to the store was made to see and feel the items, and check the retail price after seeing it in the catalog. Often that trip to the store resulted in buying something else discovered when passing by, making them store money as a result of the catalog. Now with free shipping and the ease of exchange, people no longer need to touch and feel things. My daughter recently bought a clothing item from Amazon, and it was too small, so she returned it with the enclosed return label, and had the replacement two days later.
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Old 03-10-2016, 10:53 AM
 
3,266 posts, read 2,336,935 times
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Mail order catalogs only reached their target markets because it's too expensive to print and mail catalogs to everyone and still keep prices low enough to be affordable.

The internet sites are available to anyone, 24/7, worldwide, at no additional cost.

Mail order catalogs used to require you to mail checks, which would take mail time plus time to clear. Web sites take credit cards which means instant approval, so no delay in processing your order.
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