Catalog digitalization : 6 keys to success

The government initiative OUI PUB, which has been in place since September 2022 in 11 metropolitan areas in France, only serves to reinforce an already well-established trend: the end of the unaddressed paper catalog.

Unaddressed printed matter, in other words the catalogs we find in our mailboxes, suffers from several ills. First, it is perceived as polluting, both literally and figuratively, since it is unsolicited it can seem intrusive, and because of its physical nature it contributes to increasing household waste. It is also the victim of a generational gap, with younger generations no longer considering their physical mailbox as a desirable point of contact, reading physical media is gaining less and less attention compared to the time spent on digital platforms and social networks. And finally, with a phenomenal increase in the cost of paper and energy prices also rising sharply, it is also losing its competitiveness, especially in areas heavily affected by Stop Pub.


42% of consumers consider paper catalogs to be a form of waste.

Source : ADEME


This statistic demonstrates the need for retailers to adopt a change management approach. This can mean a digital revolution, with new catalogs in pdf format.


For all these reasons, it is urgent to rethink the way your commercial offer is presented and move towards digital catalogs

Let’s be clear: while the paper version suffers from the problems mentioned above, the medium itself and its concept of presenting a retailer’s offer according to a commercial theme and/or sectoral highlighting still has its full legitimacy.


70% of French people consider prospectus to be the best way to optimize their purchasing power.

Source : larevueduprospectus



And the digital version of the catalog has naturally been adopted by some customers, making it the most consulted section on food retailers’s websites.


The customer experience will be deeply upset by this digital transformation. Retailers will have to support their customers to help them with this digital transition using an effective and clear communication strategy. Older people are not familiar with digital culture and will need to be supported in using these new tools at points of sale.

42% of French people already consult an e-catalog at least once a week.

Source : Ipsos study for Facebook “Les attentes des français en matière de prospectus”, July 2021



76% of French people say they are interested in personalized promotions. They consider digital promotions to be:

More practical: 48%

simpler: 41%

More ecological: 27%

Source : Ipsos study for Facebook “Les attentes des français en matière de prospectus”, July 2021


In the same way that you create a digital showcase for the most bankable parts of an e-commerce site, it’s highly strategic to build a digital version of your catalog, with certain adaptations to increase its effectiveness and attractiveness.



Create an automated graphic charter

The advantage of an e-catalog over a print catalog is that content can be updated in real time. Linked to a collaborative database, it can benefit from price and part number updates, as well as additional information. For this to happen without damaging the rest of the e-catalog, it’s important to have initially planned layout templates that automatically adapt to the integration of new data. This very specific ” creative automation ” expertise is one of ARISTID’s services dedicated to the digital transformation of your communication media.


Don’t overlook responsiveness

The e-catalog’s “responsive” adaptation to all consultation media – smartphone, tablet, computer – is also a crucial challenge. The development of the e-catalog must enable complete and pleasant consultation whatever the medium. Product data sheets and page layouts must be available in a variety of formats, to make reading as ergonomic as possible. Additional information must be able to be activated.


Structure the databases

Product data import flows must be perfectly structured and filled in to feed pages and publications. The e-catalog is a way of showcasing an offer, and customers interested in this offer should be able to obtain more information and directly access a digital e-commerce path if they so wish.



Reduce drastically the offer

An online e-catalog is browsed for an average of 2 to 3 minutes, and cannot be viewed as quickly as a print catalogue, so pagination needs to be reduced to maintain efficiency. The way the catalog is structured will also be different: visitors will use the table of contents to get to the categories they’re interested in more quickly, so we need to work on the theming and structure of the table of contents as a real purchase trigger.


Create trade activators

Cross-merchandising between categories and call-to-actions also help to increase consultation time and the number of pages visited. E-catalog consultation formats should be used with a different UX logic from that of double-page “print” reading. Readers will be able to navigate between sections thanks to links or filters that obviously don’t exist in the print version. These scenarios can give rise to interactive creativity to bring the content of the offer to life.


Towards personalization

At ARISTID, we believe that the future of e-catalogs lies in the personalization of their content. This is the key to creating greater commitment and satisfaction among recipients. This automated medium, which can be distributed to an unlimited number of customers, makes it possible to reduce the number of offers per e-catalog and better trigger interest.
We launched personalized e-catalogs with our retail customers in September 2022, and the first results are very positive in terms of engagement and reading time.
These innovations open up new creative territory for retailer marketing, enabling them to pilot a different sales action plan for each customer.


OMNIPUBLISH is the technological solution that allows you to digitize your catalog in a simple way for an attractive user experience.

By choosing OMNIPUBLISH, you can enjoy all the advantages of digitizing catalogs, while benefiting from a high-performance technological solution!



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