Online Catalog Software - Avoid the Decline of Print
It's a New Year, so now is a good time to take a look at what's happening in the wider world of printed materials, which ProductWorld is helping to disrupt; and the digital publishing industry, which ProductWorld is part of.
Let's take a look at the interesting trends which have been taking place over the last number of years. The revenue for printed materials - newpapers, books, catalogs and so on, is declining dramatically every year. Purchases of physical books are down, while the sales of ebooks are increasing, especially among younger consumers who like using tablets and ebook readers.
1. Print Industry in Decline
The print industry includes newspapers, catalogs, brochures, books and so on.
The chart below shows the advertising revenue for the US print media. It peaked at around $67bn in 2006, and has fallen dramatically since then. Advertising revenue follows consumer eyeballs, and since less people are reading physical newspapers and getting more news from the web, that is where the ad dollars are going (and publishers get smaller amounts of revenue per eyeball on the web).
Print Media is on the decline
It's not just newspapers that are affected; physical book sales are on the decrease as well. Consumers are reporting that they are purchasing less books every year. Amazon surprised everyone in 2011 when they announced that purchases of ebooks surpassed those of hardcovers for the first time ever. This trend will continue, and indeed will accelerate as tablets and ebook readers like the Kindle become ever more popular.
Number of physical books being sold is declining gradually
2. Consumers have Shorter Attention Spans
Google has quite literally changed the way internet users process information and indeed think over the last decade or so.
...what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski. - Nicholas Carr, The Atlantic Magazine
So what does this mean for those who have product catalogs, especially those who rely on printed catalogs to drive sales?
Well, it's very important to have your products as easy to find as possible, on the web and increasingly on smartphones and tablets, which is where customers go for information. Increasingly, customers expect all company and product information to be available at their fingertips, and if it's not there, it might as well not exist.
If you use brochure software or catalog software to publish content like pdf magazines or marketing materials, you may have seen the trend where customers increasingly like to view content on tablet devices. ProductWorld supplies catalog builder software to allow anyone with a range of products to create a digital catalog on the iPhone, Android and on the web. ProductWorld has worked with companies in a range of industries, from retail, to semiconductors, manufacturing, security products.
Not having your product information readily available leads to missed sales, and allows savvier competitors to jump ahead. So what does "not having your product information readily available" actually mean?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does my company website rank highly in Google for the products I sell?
- On my website, can customers easily find product information within a few clicks (95%+ of all website visitors are looking for information)
- Do I force potential customers to download PDF documents to access technical information or is it easily available?
- Is it difficult for my customers and sales people to find the right product in my printed catalog?
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you are certinly missing sales, as customers expect to find everything about a company and its products on the web almost instantly. Google has raised the bar for search, your website needs to be easily to navigate too.
3. Digital Publishing - Supply and Demand - is Increasing
Junk mail will soon be a thing of the past
Looking at the chart below, we can see that e-book revenue is increasing dramatically every year, a trend that is expected to continue for a number of years into the future.
E-book sales are increasing every year
The same trend is repeating across other digital media sectors - e.g. online newspapers and magazines are seeing traffic increasing on their website, even as circulation of their printed editions are stagnating or declining.
What's driving this trend is the explosive growth of smartphones and tablets. Consumers purchased about $10bn through mobile commerce in 2012, are expected to spend $14bn in 2013, and by 2016 this figure will be $31bn - a staggering x3 increase in just 4 years!
- printed materials of all types are in an irreversible decline
- consumers increasingly expect all information to be available on the web and apps
- having product information easily available influences consumers' purchasing decisions
- the digital publishing industry is growing rapidly as the print industry is declining
- the growth of the digital media industry is driven by the proliferation of smartphones, tablets and e-readers.
ProductWorld provides a simple way for product and manufacturing companies to create highly searchable catalogs redefined as apps on smartphones, tablets and web devices.