Digital Marketing Blog

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03 Aug 2017

Turn Visitors Into Customers Via Smart Online Catalogs [18 examples]

This blog post about how to turn visitors into customers via effective online catalogs is a 5-minute read. 

There are a ton of different ways to optimize your online performance in order to turn visitors into customers. A lot of web site owners focus on their homepage but often forget about the significance of their online documents which can bring notable value as interactive online catalogs. 

Related read: Analyze your Online Catalogs To Evolve Your Business

Finding an attractive way of showing your products or services is vital, as it can determine whether visitors bounce away or follow through with a purchase. 

There's plenty you can do to turn your flat PDFs into engaging and profitable catalogs.  

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In this post, I’ll show you, which elements you can include in your digital catalogs to make those visitors want to buy from you.

Read on for 10 growth hacks you can use to help turn your visitors into customers: 


No need to say that visuals are everything online. As the visitor can't pick up the product and closely observe and feel it like in a brick-and-mortar store, product images are key in selling online. 


Ethan Hoover

Powerful product photos should be your no. 1 priority if you want to keep visitors in your catalog or on your website. According to InlineVision, the single most important part of any product page is the product image. Especially since "great product images can increase your e-commerce conversion rate by as much as 30%".

Make sure your pictures are large and in high-resolution. Show details of interest and make sure to highlight the best features.

High-quality pictures are not just relevant for physical products. When you sell a service, subscriptions or provide information to your audience, visuals are still very important, as we remember 80% of what we see. (And only 20% of what we read). 



Another smart move is to show the product from several angles. This makes it easier to imagine how the product looks in real life. 

FOGIA does a very good job at this in their digital catalog:

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On several pages, they have an icon with "See more pictures". This feature is good for showing the product in more colors and from more angles. The pictures are in high-resolution, so you can see the details of the products. You can also just click on any page in the digital flipbook to zoom in. 

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Allow the customer to zoom in or at least open the picture in a larger format. With digital iPapers you always have the zoom functionality:


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Compelling product descriptions

By Lassen has excellent product descriptions, that incorporate storytelling. They make you understand the meaning behind and make you want to read more. They include captivating phrases like "he spent years fine-tuning an iron prototype" and "each individual Cubus candle holder is made on the basis of strict mathematical formulas and is calculated with great precision", which gets the reader delighted about the product. 

Read this blog on Corporate Storytelling: How to make people fall for your brand »

By Lassen's product descriptions are written to spike an interest in design lovers, but so straightforward that anyone can understand them.


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COOP also uses informative product descriptions in their catalogs, such as in this bike catalog. 

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Besides specifications and an intro text, you can also get more information on particular parts of the bike by clicking on the plus-icons (slide-ins). 

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Another example from COOP is their spring catalog 2017. Product descriptions are accompanied with descriptions of the designers behind, incorporating a little bit of personality and storytelling: 

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Grow your business with digital flipbooks like Coop and many others:

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Derbystar uses very informative product descriptions to educate readers on all they need to know about the product from inside and out. Showing detailed parts of the product description with pictures and explanation:

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When selling products where the correct size matters, such as clothing, shoes or bikes, a size chart is important. It can make a difference for a frustrated potential customer, not knowing which size to buy. 

COOP has a size-guide next to their kid bikes showing both ages, high and recommended inches:

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The clothing company, AllSize, uses size charts for their jeans brands:

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Another way to entice visitors is to show the variants of the same product, such as colors or sizes. The furniture company FOGIA shows both:

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TUPPERWARE is very good at displaying variants in its catalogs. There's something for every taste:

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If you're curious on how Tupperware does it, jump in and try the full platform that will do good for your business: 

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When it comes to variations, Crystal Nails, is in front. Not only do they show different colors, they also show various combinations of colors throughout their whole catalog. 


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Besides above, they also show variations of the shape of nails, giving you endless possibilities for customized nails. 

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The no. 1 cosmetics company of France, YVES ROCHER,  is very good at showing products in a set, urging customers to buy more than just a single product. Here's an example from YVES ROCHER Slovakia:


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One of the reasons for the success of YVES ROCHER is their ability to cross sell matching products within the same product page. As in below example. All products can be sold separately, but buy more together and you save money. Not only do you get a good deal, you also get products that compliment each other - hand picked by YVES ROCHER: 

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Here's another example of cross selling matching products. The main aim is to get you to buy the perfume. And then you could also add shower gel + body lotion with the same fragrant to your basket - smart. 

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Another variant of cross selling is to show complementary products, so visitors know what fits together. Buy the one and you can't live without the other. 

The clothing company Marcus uses one of their catalogs for showing matching items. Blazer, shirt, pants, and butterfly that fits together. Marcus has detailed pictures of points of interest to catch the viewers eyes:

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Another way of displaying matching products is like in below example from Plantorama. They show a great variety of products in matching colors, so you know they have a big selection: 

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Not only does EXPERT cross sell by offering matching products to their computers. They also offer a favorable financing plan without any interests. This can help turn those visitors into customers, who do not have the full amount available for payment up front. 

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Use simple measures to convert your readers into actual customers via engaging content: 

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You can't ignore videos in your marketing efforts. Video now appears in 70% of the top 100 search results. Moreover, viewers are between 64-85% more likely to purchase from you, when they've seen one of your product videos (source). 

So it's a good idea to invest in videos. Make the videos personal by having someone showing and talking the potential customer through the product. 

TUPPERWARE has embraced the concept of product videos and is using it actively in its catalogs. As many of TUPPERWARE'S products require assembly, they use product videos as a very effective way of showing how easy the products are to assemble and use: 

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Visit FaroeIslands has embedded video presentation, which opens directly within their digital catalog showing highlight from the nature and culture on the Faroe Islands. 

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Informative delivery information can make the difference between a purchase and just browsing. 

FAKTA Germany does not ship goods but has a shop-and-collect functionality directly from their catalog. On the first page of their digital flipbook, they have informative delivery information with 6 icons + text. Accompanied by big bold yellow text that they have the biggest selection, offers free packaging, and the fact that you can win all of your shopping, viewers are encouraged to shop from the catalog. 

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ComputerSalg shows stock and delivery info, when hovering over the buy-button: (the button says: " Click here: stock info: in stock - 24 hour delivery". 


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It is a wide known fact that social proof helps people trust you. The kitchen company HTH uses social proof in several ways in their digital catalog. 


Logos from Technological Institute, FSC, 25-year guarantee and indoor climate mark helps to build trust: 

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To establish trust, HTH also uses pictures of real people, which the reader can identify with. 

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Finally, they use statements from customers as social proof, which works really well: 

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Milton Huse (Milton Houses) use video statements from happy customers in their digital catalogs. This is a great way to display social proof, as is gives good credibility. 

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Some viewers need more information than others when making a decision to buy. ProfitLines for Pharmacy uses info boxes to give interested viewers this kind of information. 

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By clicking on "more detail", you get an informative info. box:

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See what enrichments can do for your business: 

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A well placed CTA can make a great deal in converting browsers into customers. 

Read much more about creating CTA's in this blog post: 

4 tips for crafting compelling CTA's in your online publications »

Careline part of UnoMedical has well placed CTA's that are easy to spot. By clicking on the video, it opens up directly within the catalog. Clicking on "contact us", your email opens up. Very effective. 


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Another excellent way of getting the attention of your readers is to offer something for free. We all love free stuff, right? 

As soon as you open this catalog from YVES ROCHER Italia you will see that they offer you a gift with your purchase. 


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I also have a free trial for you: 

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One of the best ways to turn visitors into customers in your digital catalogs is by making it super easy to shop directly from the catalog. 

We are impatient online, and the more steps we have to take to buy, the less likely it is that we swing the credit card. 

See how YVES ROCHER Slovakia uses this feature in their digital flipbook: With slide-in shopping icons they put your attention to the shoppable item numbers: 

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Click here to read about how shoppable content works in digital catalogs »



The element of fear of missing out is also an effective measure used widely in web shops to persuade viewers to buy here and now. Texts like limited amount, limited edition, only 2 in stock, etc. can make the sale come through if you're considering to buy.

You can also use this in your digital flipbooks, which are super easy to update instantly. Feel free to try for yourself: 


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Tracking your visitor's movements gives you valuable insights into their behavior. By using the heat map function of the digital iPaper, you can see where people click, analyze and improve for your next catalog. 

Did you, for instance, know that people zoom in on fact boxes? A little tip for putting important points in a fact box. 




Use all the available tools to improve your digital catalogs. It doesn't have to be either difficult or time-consuming. Often even very small changes can help give your visitors that engaging experience which turn them into paying customers. 

Use powerful pictures, show products from more angles, zoom, compelling product descriptions, size charts, variants, products in a set, cross selling within the same page, complementary products or services, favorable financing, videos, informative shipping information, social proof, extra information in pop-ups or slide-ins, well placed CTA's, free stuff, e-commerce direct from catalog, fear of missing out and analysis of your visitors behavior are all elements I would recommend you to look at. 

Choose the ones most relevant to your business - you can always add on to make the digital experience in your catalog even more compelling and engaging.  

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About the author

Bettina Oksen Bendorf

Bettina Oksen Bendorf

Bettina is an Inbound Marketing Specialist. I have a passion for creating relevant content with focus on the receivers’ needs. Always with the customers’ point of view in focus: “What’s in it for me?”. Chocolate lover and fitness junkie.

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