With eCommerce growing at a rapid pace, buyers are having a lot of options to choose from. However, that does not bode well for the retailers, as the growth in eCommerce has resulted in increased competition in the market. Hence, it has become challenging for new businesses to be competitive and be sustainable in the market. This is where the product catalog is helping them to stand out from the crowd and improve visibility.
The product data provided in the product catalog enables customers to make their purchasing decisions. According to the statistics, 87 percent of customers consider product content while making a purchasing decision.
However, sometimes, maintaining an eCommerce product catalog becomes a daunting task. Publishing and managing a wide range of product SKUs across different sales channels takes a lot of your time and effort. As a result, merchants end up setting low-quality and poorly structured product information.
This blog gives a detailed overview of the possible reasons that can make product catalog management a challenging task, which you can consider and overcome.
Importance of Maintaining eCommerce Product Catalog
Maintaining an eCommerce product catalog plays a crucial role in building up your business. If you have time, effort, and resources for appropriate catalog management, you can increase your sales considerably.
Here’s why maintaining a product catalog is important.
Strong Omnichannel Experience
Product catalog lays the foundation for the omnichannel strategy. Consistent management of catalogs across multiple channels can help your customers in establishing a strong connection with your products. This way, the overall omnichannel experience will solidify and will even help you boost your sales.
Improves Customer Experience
Buyers usually purchase products from the site that provide appropriate product information. It clearly shows that well-written product data helps in improving the customer experience. Therefore, you should create rich, detailed, easy-to-find, and user-friendly product information to stay ahead of your competitors.
Facilitates Business Growth
Product catalog management solidifies the foundation of your business growth. It helps you to expand your business and dominate the market effortlessly. Thus, when you have a well-defined product structure in place, you can add additional SKUs seamlessly.
Why is Maintaining an eCommerce Product Catalog Difficult?
Like every business operation, maintaining a product catalog can also be challenging because of the following reasons:
You need to update your product catalog regularly to stay ahead of your competition. From changing its price, product range expansion, product description to including high-quality pictures, keeping a catalog up-to-date can be very time-consuming.
Moreover, you might also face problems that include lack of automation and integration, modification of only those products that need to be updated, duplicate product information, and inefficiency in removing products that you no longer sell.
Above all, updating real-time inventory becomes a tedious task. Because of this, a considerable amount of bandwidth that could be used in other significant jobs like marketing, operations, and serving customers comes at stake, thereby creating hurdles in boosting sales and revenue.
Managing Products Across Multiple Channels
Product catalog management assists you in listing the products across multiple channels. However, to do so, you need to take care of the quality and different listing requirements of the channels. It makes the entire task very arduous.
Customizing the product listing according to every online sales channel can be very time-consuming. As a result, the go-to-market time of products slows down dramatically. Also, product data becomes very complicated, leading to several mistakes like incomplete information and mismatched category.
Managing Supplier Information
Suppliers or vendors provide product content with minimal information. Sometimes, they even exclude the characteristics of several items. Furthermore, they provide incorrect spelled or incorrect data structure of the product.
Since they do not sell their products directly to the customer, they do not feel the need to standardize their product information just the way you need to do. All these things should be considered before publishing anything online. And cleansing and normalizing these data take a lot of your time and effort.
Expanding Product Line
When you have a vision of expanding your product line, your business tends to grow. It means, expanding your business requires you to list more products in the product catalog. Therefore, it is important to consider that the product management system you are using can handle the expansion with consistent quality and efficiency.
Managing Complex Product Structure
Based on the type of products you sell, product data structures can become very complex than those of your competitors. For instance, if you are selling a diamond engagement ring, you must contend with multiple difficult structures like serialized items and custom-made kits and assemblies.
This interconnection between the product should be organized accurately and represented in your information. It is essential since if it is not, you might face difficulties in publishing data online and performing back-office operations like inventory counts and financial reporting.
Maintaining Product Data Accuracy
The reviews made by customers make or break your business. When you get a negative review because of misleading or inaccurate product detailing, it creates a black mark. It can slow down your sales, thereby causing tremendous losses to the business.
How To Improve eCommerce Product Catalog Management?
If you do not have the best practices for product catalog management, you may find yourself trapped in the maze of inconsistent and unreliable product experiences. However, you can improve the catalog management with the help of the tips given below:
Personalize Your Product Catalog
Different types of products require distinctive details and information. When you personalize your product catalog across multiple online platforms and your online store, you will be able to display accurate information, even for different audiences.
For instance, the sales of clothing are dependent on different colors, sizes, and fitting options. On the other hand, people look for specifics like installation, brightness, and different use cases before purchasing lighting products.
Hence, you should personalize your products according to the type of product you are offering to your customers.
Provide Relevant Product Data
As we said, low quality and incomplete product data can deteriorate your eCommerce strategy. Hence, you need to ensure product information quality and accuracy to enable your potential customers to trust your brand and revisit your store. It is advisable to provide comprehensive and updated information about your product. It is because, with the help of appropriate product information, you will be able to create an accurate product catalog for your brand anytime and anywhere.
Differentiate Physical And Digital Catalogs
Physical and digital catalogs differ from each other. That is why you should always differentiate the information you are including in both the catalog. Since the audience of these catalogs behaves differently, you have to connect with their behavior and deliver continuous innate product values.
Categorize And Specify Product Attributes
A well-defined product category is very fundamental for your eCommerce business. While creating a catalog, you must add every specification like product size, color, price tags, and other attributes. You must also include some supportive and relevant information in your product descriptions. Moreover, products belong to different categories. So, categorization becomes essential while having numerous products. It helps you to strengthen the user experience and improve search relevance.
Automate Product Information Management (PIM)
With Product Information Management (PIM), you can seamlessly manage your product data requirements. It centralizes and manages all your product data in one place, regardless of the place it is coming from or going to. It streamlines the process of uploading, standardizing, and publishing your data to your distribution channel. It ensures that your customer gets rich and accurate product information.
You cannot ignore the importance as well as the challenges of product catalog management in your business. However, when you start an eCommerce business, ensure to make an appropriate product catalog management strategy for the smooth functioning and success of your business.