About Catalog management in eCommerce
A catalog is, by definition, a complete listing of items presented in a logical sequence. It is this type of organisation that has always been crucial and effective in business, and this has not changed in the era of e-commerce. It is the combination of catalog organisation and e-commerce management applications that is known as catalog management in eCommerce. In order to achieve consistency across all sales channels, it is necessary to present product information and messaging consistently. The customer-first sales strategy is critical to the benefit of any company and can make or break a company’s success.
Catalog management in eCommerce with digital catalogs
Throughout history, as you may have noticed, catalogs have undergone changes. They are more concerned with function than with fashion. Do you remember the iconic, oversized Sears print catalogs from your childhood? Today, we’re thumbing through digital catalogs, and these catalogs can be spread across multiple platforms, where we are greeted by bots or virtual concierges who help us stay engaged with the brand throughout our shopping experience.
In comparison to traditional print catalogs, one thing hasn’t changed: merchants must create and curate accurate product information in order to build a brand, attract customers, and provide a positive shopping action for their customers.
Additionally, the method of tracking products has evolved. As technology has progressed, it has gone from manually entering thousands upon thousands of manual entries into ledgers to typing into thousands of Excel spreadsheet cells to using readymade software platforms. After that, it’s just a matter of condensing massive amounts of inventory data with the click of a button.
It goes without saying that all of this emphasises the importance of having a high-quality catalog management in eCommerce in place. Its product data must be organised, standardised, and made publicly vacant in a consistent manner across all sales channels.
It must also make a difference in terms of what legacy e-commerce solutions have to offer as a complement. It needs to embrace the omnichannel experience and sell through a change of channels to be successful.
Products should be accurately described and priced, and product hierarchy, suppliers, and other associated information should be accurately provided by catalog management in eCommerce that take into account search engine optimization (SEO), site navigation, and customer confidence. Businesses should identify a product information management (PIM) system, if at all possible, in order to streamline product catalogs and standardise data sent to distributors.
In order to ensure that inventory is tracked across multiple channels, it must manage catalogs for different audiences and track inventory across multiple channels. Not to mention that it needs to be accessible at all times of the day, be flexible, and be climbable.
What is the need for catalog management in eCommerce?
Customer convenience, just as it is in traditional old-school shopping, is critical to providing a positive customer experience. If you are successful in navigating the process, you may be able to expand into new channels and suppliers.
This means that the purchasing process must be straightforward and simple to navigate. It should be nearly impossible to make a mistake when placing an order. Because, as the old adage goes, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression, you want to build brand loyalty among your customers.
A customer who leaves your site and goes to one of your competitors may never return to your site again, according to research. On a business-to-consumer level, losing a customer can be extremely difficult. The loss of a B2B customer, who may be a high-volume supplier or retailer, can result in an important financial loss for the company.
Product information that is inaccurate or insufficient due to poor catalog management in eCommerce can result. As a result, sales are lost, and customers are less likely to make a purchase. It could also result in higher returns, which could result in stock streams slowing or reversing, as well as decreased brand loyalty.
Identification of potential circumstances that could cause a disruption in the industry is also critical. The pandemic, and its variants, are changing the way customers conduct themselves in the marketplace. Whether they must purchase clothing, cosmetics, or home furnishings online remains to be seen.
This means that customers must have approach to all relevant product information so that they can make informed purchasing decisions if this is to be the case.
It has been possible to learn a great deal about supply-chain techniques and sales strategies during the early stages of the pandemic. In 2020, McKinsey conducted a survey of B2B decision-makers to determine how the pandemic would affect the e-commerce landscape. According to McKinsey, decision-makers in the B2B sector believe that self-service is more important to customers than conventional sales interactions. This represents an increase from 48 percent prior to the pandemic.
Catalog management in eCommerce: best practises for e-commerce websites
What are the best practices for catalog management in eCommerce in your attitude?
Here are a few illustrations:
Map and manage the process:
This entails dismantling silos and coordinating efforts. Determine whether or not all internal and external stakeholders are aware of the cataloguing and classification process. Define the roles and authorization leakage that will be used to update the database.
Whenever possible, make knowledge of the process available to wholesalers or other external stakeholders who may wish to add products to their offerings. It is essential that internal stakeholders understand the process for creating product descriptions, product images, and new stock-keeping units (SKU) documents. Inventory counts in real time can be tracked using SKUs to automate reorder point notifications and management to track real-time inventory counts
Customer confidence should be established and maintained when they are purchasing items from your online store. A check should be performed to ensure that the product’s information is complete and up-to-date. This includes technical specifications as well as images, videos, stock availability, measurement units and product applications.
Introduce related and alternative products:
Most of us have gone to a physical store to complete our purchases. Products that you may have forgotten about or overlooked are right in front of you in the checkout area before you even reach for your credit card to finish the transaction. In an e-commerce environment, the process is identical.
If a customer hasn’t found the exact product they’re looking for, they should be given alternatives or encouraged to browse other options. Make no apprehension about upselling and cross-selling related and alternative products in order to raise the average order value.
Use your imagination:
It is possible that potential customers are unsure of what they want, but that they require comparisons in order to narrow their target among the vast product selection offered by a merchant.
Customers, on the other hand, may become dissatisfied with e-commerce websites that insist on providing accurate product descriptions. Using more intelligent search queries, intuitive drop-down menus, or interactive bots can help to alleviate this problem by being innovative.
Product classification should be done correctly:
Customers expect dynamic search and sorting filters to assist them in making decisions. Making certain that all product descriptions and measurement units are consistently tagged falls under this category.
Adapt the same e-commerce pillars for the modern world: flexibility, scalability, omnichannel distribution, integrations and customization are all covered in this guide.
Last but not least, don’t forget about the traditional catalog:
Because it is a print product that was delivered via snail mail, it does not necessarily imply that it is ineffective or out of date. The online and offline catalogs should work in tandem to provide the best customer experience. Make the offline catalog a reference overview guide that is easy to read so that customers can gain a better understanding of the products in the online version.
Likewise, vice versa: To acknowledge their digital sibling, print catalogs should adopt a consistent branding strategy that includes pricing, packaging, and QR codes to create an interactive experience.
What Questudio Can Do to Help With Catalog Management in eCommerce
The process of selecting a tool for catalog management in eCommerce for your company can be complicated, and it can take a significant amount of time for any type of business. Using Questudio Commerce’s comprehensive catalog management capabilities, users can manage product catalogs, update pricing and tracking and processing orders, maintain inventory control, and keep track of customers’ information.
Depending on your business environment and requirements, you can select the most appropriate commerce platform to give you complete control over catalog management in eCommerce. To find out more about how Questudio can assist your e-commerce business, please contact one of our representatives.