What’s a seed-seller to do when suddenly there’s a huge surge in
vegetable-growing across the American landscape that causes them to run out of catalogs by July? Go virtual, of course. That’s what Johnny’s Seeds in Maine did this year, after they’d already upped their 2007 printing by 230,000 to a very impressive 680,000 copies.
And what makes this different from the usual list of products found on supplier websites is that it’s a high-end PDF version of the actual catalog, with that cool page-turning feature, just like Zinio uses for the online magazines it produces.
Alisa Keimel, who does marketing and PR for Johnny’s, tells me they can’t yet tell yet if having a virtual catalog has increased sales, but some customers have told they they love it. No data yet to confirm this but don’t you suspect they’re primarily those 20- and 30-something first-time gardening foodies? Changes in gardening demographics are indeed fun to watch. Here’s the virtual catalog.
In Colleen’s round-up of 2009 catalogs over on About.com, she mentions that Johnny’s has more organic seeds than ever and a good selection of heirlooms. Possibly because that’s where the market is heading?
COULD YOU GO VIRTUAL?
So, given all the obvious benefits of virtual catalogs, could you, would you give up the printed version you’re used to thumbing through and marking up all winter?