For B2B eCommerce business, streamlining high-quality and consistent product information is very important. It helps to attract target customers, who want easy access to product information to determine whether it matches their product requirements or not. To do so, they take the help of a product catalog.
About 84 percent of customers make their purchasing decision by viewing the product catalog in-depth. However, quite often, companies make mistakes in managing their product catalog, which not only impacts the reputation of their brand but also your relationship with the customers.
Hence, in this blog, we will address the common mistakes made by the B2B eCommerce business in the catalog management system.
B2B Mistakes Related To Product Catalog Management
The mistakes concerning eCommerce product catalog management are:
Catalog Catalog is Inconsistent
While uploading a product in the catalog, you may make the mistake of providing the wrong description or adding those products that are not part of your catalog. Whenever the potential buyers notice this mismatched product description, it may cause a lot of confusion, and naturally shift their attention to your competitor’s products, as it does not meet their search criteria.
Customers usually return their online purchases or abandon the cart due to mismatched product descriptions or lack of product information. Some even avoid repurchasing the product from the website that provided them with inappropriate product information once.
When we talk about product catalog consistency, it is not a difficult task. It requires a well-planned strategy. It is significant as it can help you in reducing costly returns, increasing valuable retention rates, and the entire growth of the bottom line.
The inconsistent product information in the online catalog management can significantly impact the goodwill of your company.
Inappropriate Landing Page From PunchOut
PunchOut catalogs are dynamic and are capable of providing real-time pricing and availability, managing configuration capabilities, accommodation for almost unlimited documentation, and other decision-support information. It also improves customer services by increasing the order fulfillment process.
However, it needs to be updated daily/weekly, which entails a lot of effort. Furthermore, the PunchOut catalog enables buyers to land on a merchant’s site after selecting a product on the company’s procurement site. Generally, it takes them to the selected product’s page of the merchant site. But sometimes, they navigate the customers to the main product catalog page due to which a lot of time is wasted on searching for the product they need.
Lack Of Cross-Selling
From the moment you have started a B2B business, cross-selling plays a crucial role in making your business a success. And, if you implement it without proper analysis and account planning, it is doomed to fail.
Marketing strategies require the identification of your target audience, their preferences, and what values them. When you do not have relevant information, it becomes impossible to provide your customer with the appropriate products. Moreover, it also restricts you from measuring the future progress of your company.
In short, when your B2B catalog management does not comprise of products your target audience search for, they will hardly fill their carts, and result in a loss of sales.
Inconsistent Customer Experience
Consistency plays a crucial role in customer service and overall experience. When you fail to provide the same level of service and include inconsistent information in your eCommerce product catalog management, it not only annoys your customers but is also considered inappropriate for the company’s efficiency and brand reputation.
Customers look for organizations that provide them with accurate and consistent information and who respond to them swiftly. Lack of consistency creates a bad impression and leaves them confused and frustrated, thereby leading to higher service costs.
Lack Of Cross-Border Localization
B2B markets are often accessed by international customers. It is a double-edged sword with a vast global customer base. Therefore, it becomes essential to create a catalog based on the languages, date format, and currency of the respective countries.
It’s because different countries have their laws governing the purchase and sale of products. For instance, tax rates applied to imports from Canada to China will be different than those imported from the United States.
Moreover, while setting up the taxes, tariffs, shipping, and import fees, transparency at the point of sale becomes difficult. It leads to costly charges, which can result in rejected shipments and placing the cost of return on the business.
Poor performance of your online catalog management can dramatically impact your conversion rates as well as the user experience. When the quality of your catalog is compromised, both the seller and the marketplace suffers.
It leads your customers to shift from buying your product to that of your competitor. This way they will lose interest and never return to your platform.
B2B websites comprise a lot of security elements that can become difficult to maintain. Some require users to log in to the catalog every time they access it, while others read from the cookie that can lead to failure in PunchOut transactions if that cookie does not exist.
Moreover, they also offer complex, multiple roles and permissions, like enabling users to add products up to specific price points, which makes the users frustrated and can be the reason for significant loss of sales.
Contracts help your business in avoiding the pitfalls of relying on oral agreements. It also forms a bedrock of the business relationship with customers based on trust and fairness and the contractual basis that legally protects your company.
And, in the case of the catalog management system, updating your contract becomes a lot more efficient. It is because the products and pricing of merchants change frequently, and having different products and pricing on the catalog can confuse your customer and can affect your brand reputation.
You have stopped manufacturing certain loss-making products but failed to inform your customers about them. Since the customers are unaware, they may continue to place orders of the products that are no longer sold, thereby resulting in adverse consequences.
Pricing influences the purchasing decision of the customer. Along with favorable market trends, product quality, consumer liking, and product differentiation, appropriate pricing helps in generating sales. Moreover, incorrect pricing of the product may make the buyers think, that you are holding a fire sale to liquidate your inventory and so may place bulk orders to capitalize on the rock bottom prices.
When the price of the product is not aligned with the contracted price, the purchase price becomes more cumbersome since every transaction needs to go through a price adjustment before order fulfillment.
Tips To Solve The Mistakes
You are now aware of the mistakes, but we will also help you to solve those mistakes with the help of the tips given below:
Manage Product Data In The ERP
ERP can be used as a single source of authentic product data. You can manage product data in the Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) System as compared to updating it manually using Excel. Nowadays, modern ERP systems enable you to add all product-related information accurately, as they are closely tied to financial and operational reporting.
Optimize Your Products
B2B catalog management functioning like clockwork tends to provide an apt foundation upon which you can effortlessly grow your business. When you have a sturdy product catalog management strategy, you can scale up your offerings effortlessly with increasing or frequently changing data.
With the help of this strategy, you can also add SKUs seamlessly and even push new products to multiple sales channels easily, without making your team feel burdened or frustrated with the process.
In a nutshell, when the catalog management is organized and well-managed, it will be a great catalyst for the overall growth of your business.
Integrate Product Information Management (PIM) System
You can also integrate a Product Information Management (PIM) System as designated software to effortlessly handle the needs of your product data. With the help of this system, you can centralize and manage all your product data. Basically, it will streamline the process of uploading, standardizing, and publishing your data to your sales channels. It will also provide you with tools that are robust enough to format your data properly. This way, you will ensure that you acquire rich, consistent product information that your buyers are searching for.
Also, since PIM will vary in price and capabilities, it will work best for cleaning and organizing data from multiple suppliers, and selling across multiple channels.
Manage Product Catalog For Offline Distribution
69 percent of customers generally look into offline catalogs before making a purchase online. PIM comprises a built-in expert feature that helps you in utilizing offline catalogs in PDF format and Comma Separated Values format thereby complementing your online marketing strategies. You can also expand and sustain your customer base by balancing online and offline catalogs.
Customers engage with a product catalog to create awareness and make a suitable purchasing decision. And, when you provide smooth and free-flowing information, it enables them to revisit your store for making repeat purchases.
Therefore, while augmenting your digital catalog, ensure to implement processes and take necessary steps to avoid the above-mentioned catalog management mistakes.