Clothing Catalogs Solve the Paradox of Choice
The clothing catalog has been around for well over a century. Back in the 1800's Sears came out with their first version of the clothing catalog. At this time, the postal system fostered the clothing catalog option by allowing these catalogs to be considered aids in the distribution of knowledge. This made it so catalogs could have been distributed at one cent per pound.
As time has progressed, this shift from physical shopping to catalog and internet shopping has progressed even further. The advent of technology brought upon a society that wanted things instantaneously. Clothing catalogs fit this need, because you can look through hundreds of options at the drop of a hat. This grants that instantaneous gratification we all know and love. With overnight shipping you can have the clothing you picked out the very next day!
Clothing catalogs also cater to those who work odd hours or only have free time to do their shopping late at night or early in the morning. With a clothing catalog you can do your shopping on your own timetable. You could shop for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at any time throughout the year if that was how you wanted to spend your time.
Catalog shopping allows you all the freedom in the world, and is a symbiotic relationship for you as well as the provider. As consumers we usually start with very general fuzzy shopping goals. As we continue to shop, our idea of what we want becomes clear. There is no better way to swift through all the items a store has to offer than with a catalog that includes all, or most of the stores items. Shopping in a physical store can be extremely fatiguing. Now with catalogs, we can avoid this fatigue of going through so many items of clothing, and also allows us to avoid the frustration of an overcrowded store or an annoying salesperson.
Catalog shopping is also good for those who live far away from the mall, or those who live in a remote area where you have no physical access to your favorite brands. A catalog allows you to order whatever you would like, from where you want, no matter where you are. And, many stores now give extremely discounted shipping that is no more than a few dollars. A lot of stores are now also giving specific discount shipping deals where you can spend a certain amount of money, and then the store will pay for the shipping. This is great, and even if you have to pay a few bucks for shipping the time and gas you save by not having to trek out to the mall makes the shipping worth it.
In many ways a clothing catalog solves the problem of the paradox of choice. As customers we want to have as many options as possible available to us, but at the same time we want to be able to decide what to buy as easily as possible. Clothing catalogs maximize our shopping flexibility and they minimize our shopping complexity.