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Print and eCommerce: By the Numbers

Mailed Materials

A recent survey by Nielson looked into the retail sector and how US consumers arrive at purchasing decisions. 56% of consumers surveyed pointed to mailed materials as the chief source of information used to make purchasing decisions, about 20% greater than the nearest digital influencer. Mailed materials such as catalogs and Call to Actions (CTAs) were the clear leaders in driving actual purchases.


Print is a strong influencer in business-to-business purchases. A recent account-based marketing survey showed that 45% of respondents pointed to printed, mailed materials as their primary source of business purchasing information. Even more compelling, when these purchasers were looking for information on new products or services, their reliance on print rose to 69%.

The Millennial Market

Younger consumers are flocking back to print, and successful retailers are noticing. According to a report from the US Postal Service, Millennials are only 15% likely to ignore direct mail, compared to 50% who say they ignore digital ads. The USPS also points to experimental results demonstrating that physical marketing "triggered activity in a part of the brain that corresponds with value and desirability."

Consumers & Catalogs

Last year, according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), retailers spent around $9 billion on catalog marketing, and not without reason: DMA points to the fact that some 100.7 million US consumers made catalog purchases last year. Dive a little deeper, and it gets even more compelling: Nearly 40% of apparel shoppers, and more than a third of electronics and office supply consumers, first learn about products through direct mail according to Retail Dive.

Paid Advertising

According to Content Marketing Institute, print or other offline promotion is the second largest paid advertising medium by usage (at 57%) right after search.

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