As some marketers try to reinvent the wheel for their holiday push, Amazon is trying a classic tactic to convince consumers: a catalog.
The company is sending its first-ever holiday catalog to millions of customers in the U.S., hoping to juice sales for the all-important holiday retail season.
Amazon is shipping a holiday toy catalog, titled “A Holiday of Play,” to millions of customers starting this month, the company’s spokesperson confirmed in an email to CNBC.
“Amazon is excited to offer a new way for customers to shop for toys this holiday season,” Amazon said in a statement.
The catalog comes with a distinct retro look, invoking memories of old Toys “R” Us catalogs that made the now-defunct toy retailer so successful. Some of the featured toys come with a QR code, allowing readers to instantly scan and shop for more products. Readers can also scan the product images in the catalog with their Amazon App to get more information and add them to their shopping cart.
The print offering still funnels consumers toward an internet experience, using things like “Smile codes” so users can find an item online by scanning a code with their smartphone. You also have to go online to find prices.
The catalog, called “A Holiday of Play,” mimics those from traditional toy retailers, with bold colors and happy kids filling the pages. It includes games (video and board varieties), action figures, dolls, subscription boxes (for STEM toys, Funko figures and books) and, of course, the kids versions of the Echo Dot and Fire 10 HD tablet. It features some expensive products, such as pricey Lego sets, a $400 electric ride-on toy, an LG 4K Ultra HD TV and a $500 Canon EOS Rebel T6 camera kit.
But you’ll need to go online to find out those prices as there aren’t any in the catalog, presumably because they tend to fluctuate. As such, the catalog implores you to scan items with the Amazon app to learn more. The pages are also dotted with Amazon’s SmileCodes. When you scan these, the app takes you to a page with related gift ideas. Alternatively, the items are linked to their respective product pages in the PDF version of the catalog.
On social media, some consumers are excited by the catalog:
For those of you who miss getting the Toys R Us gift guide or any other holiday catalog for kids to browse amazon has you covered. We just got this yesterday in the mail so our grandchildren can still have a kids wish book they can pick items from. Nice. pic.twitter.com/sU2dmUjkWo
— Larry Bobo (@ffl09champ) November 6, 2018
Between the new offer of free shipping for everyone, and this print catalog to get the kids hooked, @Amazon is REALLY leveling up for the holidays. I predict this will be largest Amazon season (& largest ecomm season) yet. https://t.co/OUm6YjgKWJ pic.twitter.com/CfVr3uE8Q4
— Eric M. ð¿ (@EricMueller) November 7, 2018
Others want to know about the sustainability of sending a print catalog to millions of consumers:
Hey @amazon how much of the toy catalog is sustainable print materials.
— drain13 (@drain13) November 7, 2018
On Instagram, it has inspired nostalgia about old shopping catalogs—and excitement about the free stickers inside:
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Kristina Petrilli (@kristinapetrilligraphicdesign) on
On Facebook, users are excited for children to use the catalogs:
You can peruse a PDF version of the catalog here.
What do you think of Amazon’s plan to send a holiday catalog, PR Daily readers?