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The Raincoast eCatalogue: the creation of an electronic catalogue as a supplemental selling tool for sales representatives

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Raincoast Books Distribution Ltd. is a Canadian book distributor that provides sales, marketing and distribution services for a number of international and Canadian publishers. Each publishing season Raincoast Books distributes approximately 25,000 paper catalogues to sales representatives and retail accounts. Traditional paper catalogues have major disadvantages including their static format, high cost of production and distribution, inclusion of frontlist titles only and environmental impact. Raincoast Books has created an electronic catalogue, the eCatalogue, to address these issues, reduce the use of printed catalogues and facilitate access by sales representatives to publishers’ backlists. The largest obstacle in Raincoast Books’ efforts to eliminate paper catalogue use is the adoption of the eCatalogue by sales representatives. This report explores the benefits created for sales representatives by the eCatalogue and shows that the primary function of electronic catalogues is to better support the sorting, filtering and matchmaking functions that a sales representative provides booksellers.
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