Bonprix Personalized Mail-Order Fashion Catalog – PODi Case Study

Bonprix's catalog is the most significant sales channel because of its role in initiating sales.

The cover of the catalog was personalized front and back on both sides.

The outside back cover includes the recipient’s postal address, visible through the outer wrapping of the catalog, and further variable images and personalized text.

Front covers of the catalog.

Customized for buyers of fashion.

For buyers of living.

For buyers of kidswear.

Vertical Market: Retail
Business Application: Direct Marketing/Direct Order

Business Objectives
Bonprix is an international retailer selling value-for-money fashion. Based in Germany, it has over 27 million customers in 26 countries and sales of around 1.2 billion Euros. Bonprix follows a multi-channel approach using the Internet, catalogs and retail stores. E-commerce sales account for 60 percent of revenue; 37 percent comes from direct order catalog sales and 3 percent from its 100 retail stores in four countries.

The catalog is the most significant sales channel because of its role in initiating sales—69 percent of online shoppers consult the catalog first. Bonprix distributes 220 million catalogs and flyers annually. A typical catalog is 200 pages.

The objectives for the catalog are:

  • To achieve 40 percent of total revenue through direct response sales
  • To drive 30 percent of the traffic to the online site and the retail stores

Recognizing the pivotal role that the catalog plays in the marketing mix, Bonprix wanted to find out the potential performance increase that could result from personalizing the catalog with highly targeted offers and tracking the customer response from the catalog to other sales channels.

The results for existing and new customers were each measured separately and they were also tracked via each response channel:

  • Increase in response rate: Existing Customers: 0.4 percent; New Customer Acquisitions: 6.2 percent
  • Increase in spend per customer: Existing Customers: 1.7 percent; New Customer Acquisitions: 9.7 percent
  • Increase in direct response sales: Existing Customers: 4.0 percent; New Customer Acquisitions: 15.9 percent
  • Increase in online sales: Existing Customers: 1.1 percent; New Customer Acquisitions: 9.9 percent

CW NIEMEYER DRUCK GmbH proposed to Bonprix a test program initially involving digitally printing 300,000 catalogs with a complex personalized front and back cover featuring targeted offers according to recipient profiles. The criteria used to determine the personalized content included recipients’ purchasing history, whether they were a new, active or lapsed customer and their preferred purchasing channel.

Campaign Architecture
The cover of the catalog was personalized front and back on both sides. There is also an additional back cover flap for the direct response form. Across the six variable pages there were four personalized text elements and 10 additional image or text elements which varied according to the data segment that the recipient belonged to. The cover was produced on 135gsm uncoated stock by a Xerox CiPress 500 inkjet press and the body of the catalog contained static content and was printed web offset. The whole catalog was distributed by post without requiring an envelope.

Outside and inside front cover showing places for seven variable elements.

The outside cover is personalized with the recipient’s name and address and an image according to the recipients purchase history. The inside includes a featured offer referring to the relevant catalog page.

Target Audience
For the test program, two runs of 300,000 and 400,000 Bonprix customers in Germany were randomly selected. 91 percent of Bonprix customers are female, are likely to be between 30 and 49 years old and 68 percent have children at home. 45 percent of Bonprix customers live rurally or in small towns.

Data Management

The client provided recipient address details, the variable digital assets and the segmentation of the specific offers. CW NIEMEYER DRUCK GmbH used GMC Inspire with specially written scripts to optimize the production of the PDF workflow.

Reasons for Success
CW NIEMEYER DRUCK GmbH initially researched the market and decided that there was an unrealized opportunity for variable data printing within the mail order catalog sector. They approached Bonprix with a clear value proposition—personalizing the cover of the catalog would increase direct response sales and drive more online sales.

By proposing a relatively simple test based on a small proportion of the catalog distribution and smart analytics based on the Bonprix CRM data CW NIEMEYER DRUCK GmbH were able to prove the effectiveness of this approach.

A further run of 500,000 personalized catalogs has been done since the tests and they expect to increase even further the number of personalized catalog covers produced.

PODi is a global, member-supported not-for-profit organization. The PODi library consists of over 500 digital printing and marketing case studies from around the world.

Source: PODi.

© 2013 W. Caslon & Company. All rights reserved.

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