In a marketing first, Amazon plans a print catalog for the holidays

It’s sending out a 70-page list of seasonal goodies, hoping to capitalize on the demise of Toys R Us and other chains. Will this old-school tactic reposition the online retailer?

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.

CNBC reported:

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.

Engadget reported:

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:

Others want to know about the sustainability of sending a print catalog to millions of consumers:

On Instagram, it has inspired nostalgia about old shopping catalogs—and excitement about the free stickers inside:

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?

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