Why Paper is still used in Businesses

In roughly 750 words, discuss why companies such Ikea continue to provide paper catalogues to their customers. In this essay you are to use 4 sources and I will provide you with them in the document.
You read this document and pull a reference from here: https://www-sciencedirect-com.ezproxy.lib.ryerson.ca/science/article/pii/S0167811619300096?via%3Dihub

There is also 3 other articles you must use in this essay to make it good: Here are some documents about paper documents that can be found at the Two Sides North America website. https://twosidesna.org/. You can also use any of the resources found on the website as long as you provide a reference list of what you used.
 Busting the Myths: A Study Canadian Consumer Perceptions and Attitudes Towards Print and Paper
 Why Are Leading Companies Removing Go Green Claims “Go Green – Go Paperless” Claims
 Contrary to Popular Thinking, Going Paperless Does Not “Save” Trees

Paper Catalogues in Business

For the longest time, paper catalogs have been used as marketing and communication channels by many companies across the world. However, with the advent of digital marketing and environmental concerns of the paper industry, there has been a systematic shift in the use of paper catalogs. On the one hand, companies such as Ikea argue that paper has minimal impacts on the environment as it is recyclable and has no effect on tree harvesting while on the environmental groups purport environmental benefits for reduced use of paper catalogs. Therefore this paper will discuss the main factors causing companies to retain paper catalogs as the primary form of marketing despite the increased trends in digital advertising and environmental concerns.

Over the last decade, paper and print media marketing have rapidly decreased due to the influx of digital marketing. Many companies have adopted digital advertising and gradually cut cost on paper catalogs. According to McKinsey and Company (2015), digital marketing is expected to grow by 12.5% by 2025. The digital marketing space consists of diverse channels and products, which makes it difficult for retailers to influence engagement, behavior as well as impressions. As a result, companies that use the paper catalog are capitalizing on these loopholes to gain a competitive edge over their peers (Tanya et al., 2019).  With companies channeling fewer funds into the catalogs and printing ads, companies such as Ikea use unlimited marketing space to tap into potential demographics. “Managers responsible for allocating advertising budgets might be overlooking the importance of the traditional catalog as a useful “touchpoint” through which advertising and promotion can be delivered. The print ad and the catalog are advertising formats that do not compete for space with consumers’ other digital distractions.”  pg. 529.


Paper catalogs offer a safety net for clients. Continuos provision of physical directories to clients over a long period creates a tradition that eventually becomes a habit. Companies reinforce the habits by mailing or delivering inventories to retain their clientele and grow the business.  The digital world is a mesh of dynamic channels that has a lot of content and is prone to many distractions, which lessens the possibility of imparting habits amongst clients.

Furthermore, digital marketing increases the chances of online fraud and hacking leading to massive loss of data, which affects the company’s market bases as customers, have no reference point for previous stocks. Paper catalogs and mailed communication change the purchasing power of the computer savvy clientele across different channels as well as the frequency of purchase (Tanya, et al., 2019). Therefore, companies such as Ikea have a high preference for traditional catalogs compared to email communications. Provision of physical catalogs   over a long period provides a focal point for inquiries, communication. With conventional advertising, companies can run promotions and advertisements and receive constructive feedback. As a result, the company can make the necessary changes to meet the needs of the consumers.

In the recent past, there has been an ongoing rise debate in the impact of paper on the environment. For ages, environmental groups have claimed that paper use has contributed to a rapid decrease in forest vegetation.  However, this concept is untrue and unfounded as the paper is a by-product of the vast product of forest resources.  Forest resources produce a wide range of products throughout their life cycle. Therefore paper production does not affect tree harvesting.

On the contrary, companies that use paper products contribute to the overall growth and protection of the forest vegetation (Two Sides North America, 2018).  “The use of forest products provides an incentive for landowners to retain and manage forest lands.” Pg. 1. Revenues generated from forest products aid landowners in preserving forest vegetation. Following this, marketing managers should formulate marketing strategies based on environmental benefits claims that have no scientific basis. For instance, with the rapid decline in paper production in Canada, t (Dovetail Partners Inc, 2016).

Debunking of these myths and unfounded claims have made companies such as IKEA retain the paper catalogs as their primary marketing tool. “Even in the face of generally declining paper consumption, harvesting of trees for forest products are stable or increasing in critical paper producing regions. Serious rethinking of the “save paper – save trees” movement is needed.” Pg. 3 Environmentalists also purport that the Pulp Industry contributes to 26% global greenhouse in the atmosphere (Two Sides North America, 2019).  The Two Sides companies have disputed this figure as scientific evidence shows that the Paper, pulp, and Pulp industry contributes 1% of the total greenhouse gases.

Furthermore, the paper is recycled to form many other paper products. For instance, In Canada, 80% of writing is produced from sawmill pellets and recycled paper. “Globally, the recovered paper is the most important papermaking fiber raw material and makes up over 56% of the fiber used by the pulp and paper industry” Pg.  5. As a result companies with a history of paper catalogs and other mailed communication continue to allocate advertising budgets to produce inventory as their best suitable marketing tool. Despite the rapid increase in digital marketing companies have characterized physical catalogs as efficient and the most convenient channel of communication to reach their clientele as well as attract potential prospects.


Dovetail Partners Inc. (2016, February 8). Contrary to Popular Thinking Going Paperless Does Not “Save” Trees. Retrieved from Two Sides .

Tanya, M., Jan, B., Rakesh, N., Ingo, B., Schwarzwaller, & Wolfgang. (2019). Catalogue as a tool for reinforcing habits:Empirical from a Multichannel Retailer. International Journal of Researching in Marketing, 528-541.

Two Sides North America. (2018). Why are Leading Companies Removing “Go Green-Go Paperless” Claims? Retrieved from Two Sides America.

Two Sides North America. (2019). Busting the Myths about Print and Paper. Chicago: Two Sides North America.



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