This week Disney announced that it will stop distributing its Disney Catalog that has filled the mailboxes of tens of millions of households for the last 10 years, and instead will focus on its online store. In addition Disney has abandoned eBay for their auctions and has started a new Disney Auctions website.
Stephanie Ayars at Disney Marketing said about the move away from eBay auctions that it will enable them do more brand cross-promotions, as well as cross-link to other appropriate places. Disney Auctions will be a 7-day format and will strive to offer truly unique items. Special items such as theme park artifacts, props and costumes will be offered close to the second week of each month.
About the cancellation of the Disney Catalog: “Customers almost dictated this to us,” said Paul Gainer, vice president of Disney Shopping, “once they go online we just don’t see them going back to the phone.”
Disney spent $18 million to mail 30 million catalogs last year, but printed catalogs were simply not ringing the registers as loudly as Disney’s online store. Half of the catalogs last year were sent in the holiday season, most of them to the similar people as the year before, but Disney had a 45% drop in phone orders. The number of customers who responded to e-mail and other online marketing messages, on the other hand, skyrocketed.
The $18 million saved by cutting the catalog will be used to buy search-engine advertisements, improve the company’s e-mail marketing campaigns and develop a more extensive roster of third-party sites, known in industry parlance as affiliates, to help refer buyers to Disney.com.