Whether you distribute your catalog in print, email, online or some combination of all three, you can drive sales by identifying your true top sellers and placing them where they can grab the attention of both your customers and prospects.

How do you identify your top sellers?

Most of us have a box full of tools upon which we rely to track sales and most of them boil down to tracking purchases by item. Susan J. McIntyre, “Catalog Doctor” at Retail Online Integration, suggests taking a different approach that has caught our attention: create depiction-level sales reports. For example, implementing this approach here at Working Person’s Store, we would track the sales of a depiction in our print catalog, online or in an email that might include an ensemble of a Carhartt jacket, Timberland work boots and a pair of Wrangler jeans. McIntire reports that tracking sales of all items included in a single depiction can result in sales numbers quite different from those created by traditional tracking methods that focus on single items.

While tracking sales of these items separately provides data on whether individual items are selling well, depiction-level sales data can help integrate sales figures with catalog design and pagination. Itís certainly worth a try to see how the numbers add up.

Once you’ve identified your top sellers, what do you do with them?

Show them off! While there are countless approaches to catalog design, one approach, also recommended by McIntyre, is to feature popular items where they will grab the attention of both customers and prospects. Here at Working Person’s Store, we think this this makes sense.

Sure, we want to feature items that we hope will be top sellers and that we think will become top sellers. But by featuring products we already know our customers want, we have a good chance of them drawing them in; especially if we can feature the products at a great price, with a valuable promotion, and with other items that we know our customers want. Think about it this way: you often return to a favorite restaurant over and over because of favorite dish, right? And once inside, you often discover and purchase additional menu items. That’s what this approach is all about. Welcome your customers with tried-and-true items you know they want; once inside, you show the offerings of your full catalog.