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How to use online catalogs in top funnel marketing

Jan 17, 2021


  • Online catalogs are the perfect asset for your top funnel tactics
  • They can increase engagement and conversions
  • If you work with catalogs today, you're already two steps ahead of your competition

Every retailer needs to stay top of mind and highlight relevant offers to beat the competition. One of the main goals of top funnel marketing is to create awareness and attract visitors to your shop. And online catalogs are the perfect format to do exactly that.

How B2C ecommerce companies execute their marketing activities can differ a lot.

But besides the differences in how they execute and allocate spend, most B2C businesses have adopted the same full funnel approach to structure campaign activities.

Top funnel: Awareness and attracting buyers not actively looking to buy.

Mid funnel: Adjust marketing tactics focusing on the buying intent.
(Which products the visitors have seen.)

Low funnel: Make sure to close the deal focusing on a specific product.

You want to make sure you have tactics running supporting all stages of the funnel. It will be difficult for you to attribute top funnel activities to a direct sale. And you should be careful not to focus too much on the perfect attributable sales funnel. Chances are you end up pausing activities that actually positively impact your low funnel tactics more than your reporting tells you.

But if you track the right KPIs in a top funnel context, you can ensure that your top funnel tactics will decrease low funnel costs and increase the volume of potential buyers.

How to use online catalogs in top funnel marketing - CP

Why online catalogs are the perfect asset for your top funnel marketing tactics

Top funnel marketing is the discipline where you want to increase the volume of potential buyers. You want to attract shoppers to your online store, and your main KPI is increasing product page views from your top funnel campaigns. This significantly increases the volume of potential buyers you can remarket mid funnel and nudge towards low funnel to finalize the purchase.

But you don't want to occasionally push a product top funnel. You want to be consistent and accept that your target audience is not looking to buy your products. Working with catalogs to increase top-of-mind awareness and increase in-store volume is not a new method. 

But the method is often considered a brick 'n' mortar tactic used to drive more people to their stores. The fact is that you can apply the same tactics online, and with the power of the digital world you can optimize everything from distribution to creating an engaging and frictionless shopping experience.

Push offers top funnel with online catalogs

All online stores have outlets, latest offers and products they want to highlight. Many ecommerce businesses simply link to an endless grid view. These products are much better presented to your top funnel audience in a curated online catalog format. You will see a much higher ad engagement because of the well known format. Your audience know what they are committing to when clicking the ad. 

Depending on your catalog frequency you should always have your latest version being pushed top funnel. This will increase sessions and product page views on your store, and get more people in your target audience closer to buying your products.

Create themed catalogs

Ecommerce businesses are the undisputed experts in adjusting marketing tactics depending on seasonal trends and themes. Nobody knows your target audience better than you. Use this insight to plan theme based marketing activities throughout the year taking point in well-produced online catalogs.

It could be:

  • Back to school
  • Is your garden ready for spring?
  • Is your car ready for your family vacation?

It all depends on the products you want to sell and what resonates with your target audience.

How to get started with top funnel online catalog tactics

If you work with catalogs today, you are already 2 steps ahead of your competitors. You want to take advantage of that, and the best place to start is actively use them in your top funnel tactics.

Most born-digital online stores perceive catalogs as a thing of the past, and a cumbersome process with offline high-cost distribution. But a catalog is probably the format in the history of marketing with the highest longevity. And it is not going anywhere anytime soon, as it has also proven it's effect in the digital age as an online catalog.

To get started with your first catalog it's recommended to create one that has at least a monthly relevance in a top funnel context. This will give you enough time to have ad campaigns running top funnel to get valid performance data you can use to evaluate the effect it has on your business.

Jesper Wilhelmsen

Jesper Wilhelmsen