About Catalog Management Solutions
How can you establish that your products are easily available online, that your web store visitors have faith in them, and that they convert successfully in your online store? This typically boils down to powerful e-commerce product catalog management solutions, which is often overlooked.
So, what exactly are the benefits of effective ecommerce catalog management solutions? What are some of the challenges you have when managing your product catalog online? In addition, what are the greatest catalog management solutions in the world of ecommerce? Everything you need to know about e-commerce product catalog management solutions will be covered in this blog post, along with eight practical recommendations that you can put to use right away.
What is the significance of e-commerce catalog management solutions?
Consumers and business customers alike have become accustomed to browsing for product information and making purchases online, whether in the B2C or B2B sectors. A well-managed online product catalog is therefore essential for your company in order to match these changing customer preferences while also ensuring that its products are found and available online and that it remains competitive. A well-organized and extensive e-commerce catalog can also assist you in being recognised as a leader in your business and in establishing confidence between you and your web shop customers.
Catalog management challenges that arise in the e-commerce industry
When it comes to managing a product catalog online, organisations generally encounter four major issues.
The participation of a wide range of stakeholders, both within and outside your organisation: Management and upgrading your product catalog might become complicated and time-consuming as a result of this. For example, if the units of measurement used by your suppliers and your systems are different, frequent manual adjustments will be required.
Utilities: All internal product data must be transformed into clear and understandable information for the customer. Additionally, you should make certain that the product presentation and classification fit the needs and expectations of your clients.
It is necessary to have a good understanding of both the functions of the tooling options and your company’s current business scheme before selecting catalog management solutions. The task of finding a scalable catalog management solution for global corporations is made considerably more challenging if the company’s internal operational systems (such as ERP, PIM, marketing, or e-commerce systems) differ from one location to another.
Catalog growth and business expansion: Catalog expansion is typically related to business expansion. Is your current catalog structure, on the other hand, in a state of readiness for expansion? It can be difficult to increase your catalog when there is inconsistency or a lack of organisation in your current catalog structure (for example, a random product assortment).
We’ve compiled the following eight best practises for maintaining your e-commerce product catalog :
Create hope by providing them with high-quality product information.
First and foremost, when it comes to managing your digital product catalog, you should strive to guarantee that your (possible) customers feel comfortable purchasing on your e-commerce website. You want your web store visitors to have courage in your company, so that they will be more inclined to make a purchase from your firm.
It is vital that you present thorough and accurate information about your products in your product catalog management solutions in order to attain this goal. Only when the information your potential customers use to evaluate your brand and products is thorough and correct will they begin to trust your firm and its items.
You can start with the three attitudes given below in order to produce high-quality product content:
Include thorough information about your products in your product catalog management solutions. Customers should be provided with all of the information they require in order to make an informed decision regarding your items. Technical characteristics, photos, videos, inventory information, units of measurement, and product usage combinations are all included in this section. This material must be easy to understand and navigate through.
Inspect your records to ensure that all of your information is current. This will enhance your clients’ shopping experience by enabling them to make better-informed decisions while they are in your store. Remember to take into account both static information, such as product specifications, and ever-changing inventory data.
Determine who will be in charge of each of these modifications if it becomes required. Try to link your web store inventory records to your enterprise resource planning (ERP) inventory data so that your web store inventory levels may be automatically updated.
Make use of high-quality images to demonstrate the functionality of your items. This will aid in attracting the attention of online store visitors and retaining their concern during their visit. Take it a step further by including numerous media formats.
Arrange your digital product catalog by tags and categories.
By allowing your customers to filter, refine, and sort the product information on your online store’s website, you may make it easier for them to handle your digital product catalog management solutions. This can be accomplished by categorising and tagging all of your products in a methodical manner.
But keep in mind to approach it from the perspective of your customers. Think about how they search for information and how they would like to search your website, in other words. Suppose you know that your clients commonly look for product information based on material. Make certain that you are not only associating your products to their size and colour, but also to their material.
Further to this, we offer the following tips for categorising your e-commerce catalog items:
Inspect all product tags to provide that they are uniform. To denote a product size, for example, only use the term “medium”; do not switch between tagging things with the terms “medium” and “M.”
Make certain that all measuring units are the same size. Make a distinction between inches and centimetres in your product specifications, for example. Do not use both.
Don’t restrict the features of all of your items to the same range of options. Include any additional product qualities that may be necessary to aid your clients in choosing the best option for their needs. Instead of focusing solely on flavour, package size, and so on, if you offer vegan or gluten-free food, you should add and categorise these characteristics.
Draw a diagram of the steps involved in your catalog management process.
Since there are numerous stakeholders involved, as previously said, managing an e-commerce PIM Catalog is a time-consuming and complicated operation. One strategy to addressing this trouble is to first create a process map for your catalog management system. Then you’ll be able to pinpoint where all of your internal and external stakeholders are at any one time during the process.
This mapping approach can help you gain a clear knowledge of the following:
- How do stakeholders have an impact on the cataloguing process and what portions of it they influence?
- Who are the people who will be impacted by your catalog changes?
- In what stages of the process do they have an impact?
By using the mapping method, you can rapidly identify which stakeholder(s) to approach when it is time to update your e-commerce product catalog.
Consider the following scenario: you’re a wholesaler looking to expand your e-commerce product offering. It will be easier to understand what steps you need to take and in what order if you have a clear map of your cataloguing management process. Once you’ve determined this, you’ll know that you’ll need to collect the new product information from the suppliers, determine whether your courier can pack the new products using current resources, commission a product photo shoot with your agency, ask your internal content team to create a product description, consult with your logistics department to attain the new stock keeping units (SKU) documentation, and so on.
Increase your sales by upselling and cross-selling with related and alternative products.
Including suggestions for related goods in your e-commerce catalog management solution is a simple approach to boost the average order value of your customers.
Take a look at your own recent internet shopping experience. Whenever you purchase a new camera, most internet retailers will also recommend the finest battery, memory card, and case to go along with it. How many times have you thrown those extra goods into your shopping cart without thinking? Usually, you do so because you desperately lack them and it is quite convenient not to have to go searching for them.
Alternate items can also be suggested to urge your consumer to purchase a camera of even greater quality, or you can encourage your buyer to continue browsing if they have not yet discovered the specific product they are looking for.
Manage your e-commerce product catalog database with ease.
A database is an unavoidable aspect of optimising an e-commerce catalog due to the fact that e-commerce catalog management solutions falls within the category of information management. If you want to keep your product catalog database clean, consider the following suggestions:
Maintain a single source of truth for all of your product catalog data and information. This means that your data will be stored in a single database and will not be replicated over any other servers. Not only would this be more powerful, but it will also eliminate the possibility of any mistakes occurring.
Define the roles and authorisation flows that will be used to modify the database. This will allow stakeholders to understand exactly what their roles and duties are in the event that the product catalog database is modified. Authorization flows also aid in the preservation and protection of data quality, as well as the avoidance of data redundancy and duplication.
If you’re thinking about extending your business and your e-commerce product catalog management solutions at the same time, you should consider the viability of your database expansion first. Analyze your present data structure to regulate if any new product catalog data can be collected, organised, and managed in the near future using your current data structure. Instead, you should try reorganising your internal data structure to verify that it is scalable before moving on.
Select Catalog management solutions.
In order to manage your e-commerce product library, you can use one of the several programmes available on the market today. You can conduct your e-commerce product library in a variety of ways, depending on your business requirements:
- One that can stand alone as an e-commerce platform
- Software for creating spreadsheets (e.g. Microsoft Excel)
- A product information system (PIS) is a system that stores and organises information about products (PIM)
- An e-commerce platform that interfaces with your enterprise resource planning system
Take into account your present technology stack, the size of your business, the complexity of your product catalog, the availability of your labour resources, and whether you intend to grow to numerous online stores in the future when selecting product catalog management solutions.
It has already been said that no matter whatever solution you choose, you should strive to retain a single source of truth in order to prevent duplicating product data and the risk of making mistakes. In the case of product catalog management solutions that is already managed by an ERP or PIM system, it is best not to duplicate that data into a separate e-commerce website. This is possible through the use of ERP-integrated e-commerce.