Liquor catalogues

The surprising generation obsessed with catalogues

June 27, 2019
By Alana House

New research from Roy Morgan has revealed catalogues are retaining their relevance, with Millennials now their biggest audience.

The research explored how Australians use catalogues in today’s crowded, digitally focused media landscape and shows that nearly a third (31%) of Australia’s 13,436,000 catalogue readers read catalogues cover-to-cover according to research conducted in the first quarter of 2019 (January-March).

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, said: “The latest research into Australia’s catalogue industry has uncovered that catalogues are still very relevant and remain a key channel to reach Australian consumers despite the proliferation of digital media in recent years.

“In fact a clear majority of 70% of Australia’s 13.4 million catalogue readers say that catalogues are a helpful shopping tool and over half (53%) find catalogues more useful than other forms of advertising.”

More Millennials than Baby Boomers reading catalogues

Analysing Australia’s 13.4 million catalogue readers by generation shows Millennials to be the largest readers of catalogues in Australia numbering over 3.2 million. Over 3.16 million Baby Boomers read catalogues and just under 3.16 million members of Generation X.

Generation Z is next with over 2.5 million catalogue readers while just on 1.4 million catalogue readers are part of the Pre-Boomers generation.

Roy Morgan research into catalogue readers

Catalogues don’t just reach those with the catalogue in hand – many people are sharing catalogues and sharing their finds ‘digitally,’ revealing that a secondary circulation of catalogues is occurring amongst Australian consumers.

Over a third of Australian catalogue readers (35%) have shared hard copy catalogues with friends, family or neighbours while 4 in 10 (41%) have shared catalogue ‘digitally’ by emailing or texting a picture of a product seen in a catalogue to a friend or family member.

The new research shows that catalogues play a significant role on the path to purchase by driving people in store and triggering high value unintended purchase.

Nearly half of catalogue readers (47%) have made a special trip to a store to buy a product after seeing it in a catalogue – which they otherwise would not have seen without reading the catalogue.

Catalogues trigger unintended purchase on high value items – one in five catalogue readers who spend more than $1000 on their most expensive catalogue purchase in an average six months purchased an item they were not intending to buy before they saw it advertised.

Additionally, more than half (53%) of catalogue readers find catalogues more useful than other forms of advertising.

“Catalogue readers are avid consumers of content and close to a third read catalogues cover-to-cover and spend an average of six minutes reading catalogues,” Levine said.

“There’s little doubt that if you are looking for a way to reach hard-to-find and time-poor consumers that catalogues offer a direct route to the ‘eyeballs’ of over 13.4 million Australians.”

Catalogue readers on the rise

Roy Morgan Research general manager social and consumer trends Laura Demasi told a Real Media Collective customer insights session earlier this month that she was surprised by further results that showed catalogue readership rose from 65.6 % in July 2014 to 69.9% in July 2018.

The results followed Roy Morgan conducted focus group research in 2018 to learn how Australians are using catalogues. 

“Catalogue readership in Australia over the last five years has remained really consistent but let’s remember this is not just any five years,” Demasi noted. “This is one of the greatest periods of change in the media landscape.

“Incredibly catalogues have actually gone up. In the last four weeks more Australians are reading catalogues not than they did five years ago.”

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