How the retail catalog has changed in e-commerce era

Major retailers continue to mail paper catalogs as part of their marketing strategy, but they now feature larger images and fewer pages, serving as a lifestyle inspiration and idea-generation rather than a full account of every item in stock. "[I]f we do a good job, [our customers] get ideas for things they didn't even know they wanted before they got there," said Williams-Sonoma Chief Marketing Officer Pat Connolly.

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