One size does not fit all: e-tailer Zappos’ print catalog doubles its Web per-transaction sales.

Yes, it’s a shocker to some. Average per-transaction sales from’s print catalog, Zappos Life, is consistently twice what it achieves online. Pretty amazing news from one of the world’s leading e-tailers of shoes and accessories.

Of course, stellar telephone-based customer service is Zappos’ biggest driver of sales. And make no mistake, the Web is the company’s main channel. Not surprisingly, Zappos also is a leader in engaging customers through social media, including Twitter and Facebook. But it has become clear to everyone at Zappos: Print is very, very relevant.

Why? Because so many people still use catalogs. It’s true of the core Zappos customer segment, 40-year-old women, as well as many other demographic groups: They enjoy leafing through, dog-earing the pages, asking the opinion of others—it’s a pleasant and familiar way to shop. Many feel that the catalog medium allows the shopper to see more merchandise more easily than the online channel, which very well might explain the higher per-transaction sales.

Zappos Life is here to stay. Zappos is expanding its print catalogs into new vertical markets, including fashion, running, bridal, skate/surf and more.

Ed #14 Getting Personal