How do you know that your products are easily accessed, liked, and trusted by your customers? With the help of an effective eCommerce product catalog, right? An online catalog is considered the most significant aspect for keeping your customers engaged in your store. It enables you to display your products the way you want your brand to be perceived.
Let’s take an example of two stationary shops comprising a range of stationery products.
The products in the first shop are disorganized and scattered everywhere, whereas the products in another shop are well-organized and perfectly maintained. Which shop will the customer choose? The second one, right? It’s pretty obvious since he can easily locate, compare, and buy the product he wants.
That is why B2B businesses need to have a well-organized custom product catalog displayed on their eCommerce stores. It helps to ensure that the product content, such as the name of the products, their descriptions, photos, price, suppliers, and others are presented consistently and in high quality across all the sales channels. In short, catalog management is one of the most effective techniques of rationalizing workflows as it minimizes the complexities of corporate operations.
This blog is the ultimate guide of eCommerce catalog management. So, without wasting more time, let’s focus more on it in detail.
Defining eCommerce Catalog Management
A catalog is commonly described as a complete list of items displayed systematically, thereby making the selling process very effective.
When you combine your product catalog with an eCommerce management application, it is known as eCommerce catalog management. The sole purpose of having an eCommerce product catalog is to consistently present the product data methodically in the entire sales channel. It is that significant sales strategy that either makes or breaks your business.
Although the catalog has evolved over the years, one thing always remains the same. The catalog must contain accurate product content that will help you in building your brand, attracting customers, and even providing them a positive experience.
Moreover, the eCommerce catalog has eliminated the need for making entries manually. Now, merchants can seamlessly enter massive inventory data with just a click of a button.
Why Do You Need eCommerce Catalog Management?
A good customer experience is based on convenience. When your buying process is transparent and intuitive, it tends to open the path to new sales channels and suppliers.
Poor catalog management with indefinite or insufficient product data can make your customer move away from your store and visit your competitors, which is considered a tremendous loss. It also leads to slow and reverse revenue streams as well as negatively impacts your brand loyalty.
Therefore, product catalog management:
Enhances Customer Experience
A well-maintained online catalog provides you with an enhanced customer experience. It helps the buyers in making informed decisions. This way, they tend to build trust in your brand, thereby making it a leading choice of your customers and making repeated sales.
Improves Brand Credibility
An inaccurate product catalog can lead to the loss of its brand credibility. People often associate with those brands whose brand appearance and management always go hand in hand with their values. Therefore, when your database is not managed appropriately, you won’t be able to deliver your customers the service and meet their expectations.
Boosts Business Growth
When you provide a good customer experience, new customers join your web store and existing customers always make a comeback. It is because an efficient customer experience excels the product quality and price when a consumer makes a purchase. And, since the online product catalog enhances this experience, you acquire loyal customers that increase your sales and conversion rates and ultimately boost the growth of your business.
Refines Omnichannel Experience
A customer can acquire the product information effortlessly from multiple platforms like online shopping portals, your website, etc. Therefore, it becomes crucial to provide a similar experience to them on all these platforms. This touchpoint of their journey is known as the omnichannel experience. The primary aim of the omnichannel is to provide a seamless experience via platforms and devices involved in the shopping process. So, when the product catalog has a consistent format, it fulfills this goal swiftly.
Challenges Faced For Managing eCommerce Product Catalog
Despite offering several benefits, you might face some challenges while managing the custom product catalog as well.
Updating Product Listing Regularly
You have to update your SKUs regularly to keep your catalog up to date. It becomes a cumbersome process since the product requires timely tuning and filtering before getting listed on the catalog. Therefore, a lot of valuable time is compromised in this process.
Dealing With The Suppliers
The suppliers usually provide product data that sometimes does not contain the same information and misses out on some of the product’s attributes. However, they are not required to standardize their product information, since they are not selling the product directly to the customers. It is this issue that needs to be fixed before getting the product data published online.
Expanding The Catalog
It is relatively difficult to add SKUs in a poorly organized product catalog. You either have to go back and clean up the entire catalog or use the existing content. Also, fixing these issues requires a lot of time and effort, which slows down other processes, thereby directly impacting the growth of your business.
Best Practices For Managing eCommerce Catalog
As your business excels, maintaining an eCommerce product listing becomes challenging. But, all these difficulties can be fixed and the process can be made smoother with the help of the following best practices.
While managing an eCommerce product catalog, you need to ensure that you have created a comfortable environment for your customers to purchase the products. It creates trust and enables them to place repetitive orders on your website. It is only possible when the catalog contains accurate and comprehensive product information. A customer will only trust your brand when the information you are delivering in your catalog is complete and precise.
Therefore, you can achieve good quality product content by including every detail like product information, image, videos, inventory, units of measurement, etc., in the catalog. Moreover, you also need to ensure that the information you are providing is up-to-date. It will not only improve the shopping experience but also help your customer in making informed decisions.
Tagging And Categorizing Product Catalog
Customers look for that online store that makes their shopping experience seamless. So, when you offer your customers the opportunity to filter, refine, and sort the product information, you eventually assist them in browsing through your product catalog effortlessly. All this is done by tagging and categorizing all the products systematically.
However, you need to do it from the perspective of the customer. It means that you need to consider how they search the website and the product information. For instance, whether they search based on the material, size, type, etc.
All this can be achieved efficiently by ensuring that all the product tags and measurement units are consistent. You should also avoid limiting all your products to the same set of attributes.
Mapping of Catalog Management Process
The involvement of multiple stakeholders makes the catalog management process a complex task. However, you can overcome this challenge by mapping out the management process and later pointing out the location of both your internal and external stakeholders.
This way, you are well aware of the part of the catalog used by your stakeholder, who is getting affected by its changes, and when they are affected. Moreover, you will be able to find the precise stakeholder to approach while updating the catalog.
Upsell And Cross-sell Product
Upselling enables the customer to purchase a high-end product in comparison to another one in question. On the other hand, cross-selling is the process of inviting customers to buy related and complementary products. Although both terms are used interchangeably, they offer different benefits.
You can increase your average order value by suggesting relevant products in your online catalog. When your customers shop for a particular product online, they look for its entire information and add it to the cart. It is because they do not want to search for it again and again. When they see alternative options, they are tempted to buy the one that is of better quality. The product catalog helps them in acquiring the most accurate products immediately.
This way, you provide maximum value to customers and increase revenue without using the recurring cost of many marketing channels.
Effortless Product Catalog Database Management
Database management is an unavoidable part of custom product catalog management. Therefore, it is advisable to keep the product information in a single data, without initiating it in another system. It will prevent you from errors. Furthermore, you should specify the roles and responsibilities of your stakeholders as well as authorize the flows so as to protect the quality of your data and even avoid data redundancy.
Selecting Catalog Management Tool
You can manage your product catalog by integrating it with multiple tools or software available in the market. Depending upon the requirement of your business, a product catalog can be managed via a standalone eCommerce platform, a product information system (PIM), and even an eCommerce platform with ERP integration. You can also use a PunchOut Catalog to streamline the procurement process. It is because you will get everything like accurate information, simplified and centralized purchasing, better productivity, and an improved customer experience, all in one place.
It is important to consider the existing tech stack, the business size, product catalog complexities, and much more while selecting an appropriate catalog management tool.
B2B businesses face an extra level of complexities. It is because the product pricing differs per customer and per order basis. Here, personalization becomes a crucial aspect to consider so that you can pay close attention to showcase the controlled price. Additionally, it is significant to check whether the eCommerce solution supports tailor-made catalogs as it enables you to serve your respective customers with more relevant content.
An efficient eCommerce product catalog management saves both your time and money and even ensures that the information is accurate, standardized, and consistent across all sales channels. It not just creates and maintains product information, but also helps in achieving higher business growth and ROI.high quality.