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Story | 11/28/2019 06:07:34

Inspired gift-giving: A catalogue with a special twist

The 5 December marks the biggest gift-giving day in the Netherlands and Belgium, when Sinterklaas arrives on his white horse bringing gifts.

With the approach of every holiday season, retailers everywhere begin to look for ways to attract consumers. bol.com, based in the Netherlands and Belgium, is an online retailer for books, toys, electronics, apparel and much more – and although they have a strong customer base, their outlook is no different.

Finding the big idea

Parents and gift givers have one goal in mind when shopping for children’s presents: to bring joy. But finding the right present can be a hard task. With this in mind, the objective for bol.com became obvious. They wanted to find a way to tap into the dreams of children on the journey towards Sinterklaas, a fun and unique way to inspire children to be creative and to give families a very real and easy solution to deliver on the joy. And they could achieve this by producing a catalogue with a difference, one that serves multiple purposes, providing an interaction between the digital world and a physical product.

Children flip through the toy-filled pages of the catalogue, inspired by beautiful images and gift ideas. A template encourages them to cut and paste, to craft a beautiful wish list that can be proudly shown to their families. A wish list poster with a leaflet of decorating stickers was inserted inside the catalogue.

The addition of QR codes lets parents easily organise, manage and purchase products online. Easy WhatsApp sharing options give parents the opportunity to tip off other family members on gift ideas. And the final touch: a competition asking kids to stick their wish lists in their windows, take pictures of their artwork and share online, in turn creating more inspiration for others. Winners receive everything on their wish lists, creating further incentive to get crafting and dream big.

Moving beyond the concept

To turn this catalogue idea into reality, bol.com turned to UPM. The truth is, that despite the trend towards digital, paper leaflets and catalogues continue to be extremely important and popular in retail. Consumers find inspiration in them and can discover current available offerings. The good news: with UPM paper, the catalogue is also a sustainable solution.

Bol.com is primarily an online retailer. Bringing that online world onto paper is no easy task. In an extremely fast timeframe of three months from concept to creation, bol.com and UPM went through many ideas and samples until the catalogue was ready to be printed. “As this was our first catalogue, it was very much about experimenting and looking at different possibilities, says Mathieu Veldhuijzen, freelance concept manager at bol.com. “We’re very happy about how UPM helped us in our journey to get this catalogue done.”

This catalogue is one that feels different from the moment you pick it up. The paper chosen for the catalogue was UPM Valor, which gives it a certain weight, a certain quality and a luxurious feeling to the touch. When it comes to successful campaigns, every little detail counts. “This paper choice brings out the authenticity of the colours that bol.com has recently rebranded with, bringing children and loved ones into the bright bol.com world of gifts on offer,” says Robin Post, Area Sales Director at UPM Communication Papers.

Needless to say, the catalogue has already seen great success in the Netherlands and Belgium. And the campaign is not limited to the physical catalogue: it has been shared on various online touchpoints, through social channels and from friend to friend, giving it a truly omnichannel presence. Wish list posters are popping up in windows, online purchases are stemming from them and competition entries are coming in. Come on Sinterklaas, we’re ready for you!


Text: Inseeyah Stieldorf