Catalog Management

Catalog management brings all product information under a single hub and helps in publishing and updating them automatically across all connected sales channels.

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What is catalog management?

Simply put, catalog management is the process of organizing the complete list of product items in a systematic order. In the e-commerce realm, catalog management ensures that your product database is structured and updated with the latest information — across all your online sales channels.

While catalogs have evolved from print to digital over the years, one thing hasn’t changed: they remain, as always, more functional than fashionable. In e-commerce, catalogs are the equivalent of your brick-and-mortar store’s sales representative. Just like how merchants in-store help customers with accurate product information, catalogs serve the same purpose online. They are also crucial to attracting new customers and providing positive customer experiences.

As a case in point, consider a customer who lands on a clothing e-commerce site looking for floral print casual shirts. But instead of finding what they desire, if they come upon random shirts — the retailer misses out on a potential sale.

Here’s where proper online catalog management enables your customers to effortlessly discover what they are looking for. Having a simple and organized e-commerce catalog not only gives you the opportunity to sell your products online but also enables your customers to decide easily based on the available product data.

Why do you need e-commerce product catalog management?

E-commerce shopping is booming — in the US, online sales are foreseen to surpass $740 billion by 2023. And 22% of global retail sales will take place through e-commerce by then. The rise in online purchases is attributed to the growth of online marketplaces, increased dependency on mobile shopping, and social commerce.

In the light of these statistics, clear product descriptions are indispensable for customers to find the right solution to their problems. To prevent them from being overwhelmed by their choices, you need product descriptions that would describe the product’s value and how it would help solve their problems.

Product descriptions will play the part of sales representatives and assist your customers to make decisions. Since it’s solely down to how well your product contents are written and how easily your customers navigate and find their best solution, e-commerce product catalog management shouldn’t be overlooked.

e-Commerce catalog management challenges and solutions

Challenge: Selling products across multiple sales platforms

You have various e-commerce platforms to sell your products — Amazon, Facebook, Shopify, Etsy, your online store, and others. Each of these sales channels will have its own specific formats for product listing and categorization.

Product content management can become time-consuming since you’d have to remember which channels require which information, and also give consistent product descriptions across all channels.

Solution: Implement a PIM

A product information management (PIM) system can be your optimal workaround to combat inconsistencies. A PIM system will give you a centralized hub to create, gather, manage, update, and optimize your product catalogs, and also distribute them to your e-commerce and other omnichannel sales channels.

Challenge: Building good relationships with customers

Offline, in a brick-and-mortar store, it’s easy to emotionally connect with your customers and decipher their needs. As an e-commerce business, showing interest in your customers’ needs to make them feel valued and important is hard without human interaction.

Solution: Make your product catalog easy to use for a good user experience

To build good relationships with your customers, you need to win their trust. You can build your brand’s credibility by adding relevant product information to your online store with the help of e-commerce catalog management. This can eliminate the negative reviews that stem from misinformed purchasers.

Furthermore, properly categorizing your products can make it easy for your customers to navigate your online store and discover the right item to add to their cart.

Challenge: Standardizing product catalog management

With a high-quality catalog management solution that automates product categorization, you could skillfully draw in diverse audience segments.

But if you are maintaining all your product attributes, families, and descriptions in scattered excel sheets, expanding your business with new product lines or sub-brands will be challenging. You would have to manually organize products for their respective audiences and sales channels.

Solution: Centralizing product information in a PIM

Instead of scattering your product information, use a product information management (PIM) system to streamline your product catalog and standardize the data. With a PIM, you can also quickly upload product information across all your sales channels.

With PIM integrations you can marry your product catalog with inventory and supply chain information. This way, all your digital asset management can be streamlined into a single source.

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Tips to improve e-commerce catalog management

1

Map and manage the customer journey

The customer journey is anything but linear. Having various customer journey maps and templates configured to different customer segments and journey scenarios can help better the onboarding process and user experience.

2

Suggest associated and alternative products for customers

With cross-selling and up-selling, you can offer your customers a better product based on their cart items or browsing history. While this not only serves to empower customers to make better choices before checking out, it also assures you a bigger basket value.

Personalizing your customer’s feed with recommendations and similar products while ordering and when they visit your online store will improve your e-commerce catalog management process.

3

Categorize products correctly

Dynamic searching and sorting filters are important for customers to narrow down their choices and settle on a particular product. This means, all your product details and measurement units must be tagged and categorized correctly, consistently.

4

Audit your inventory regularly

Consistently auditing your inventory will prevent its unforeseen shrinkage and in turn not disappoint customers with out-of-stock products. It also keeps your systems from piling up errors and helps maintain accurate financial statements.

5

Personalize your digital catalog

You cannot serve the same product catalog to all your audience segments. Multiple factors such as the product quantity, price, and other attributes would appeal to various customer segments differently. Therefore, segmenting and personalizing your digital catalogs for your respective customers is vital to render a seamless customer experience across all touchpoints.

Benefits of improving e-commerce catalog management

1

No middlemen, no errors

By centralizing all product information, you can share only the information you want with only the people you choose.

2

Public or private, you choose

E-commerce catalog management will also help you host public catalogs with open access or private catalogs that are password-protected and could be shared with your selected sales team, distributors, and customers.

3

Online orders in real-time

Using instant catalogs for product information management, your sales team could activate online orders for your products and generate orders at any time from any part of the world.

Catalog management FAQs

How does catalog management work?

By classifying and consolidating all product data into a single point of reference, a catalog management solution helps maintain and update product information across all connected sales channels.

What is the pricing for catalog management software?

The pricing for catalog management software differs greatly by the pricing model and the customization needed for the online retailer. An industry-recognized tool like Sales Layer costs about $1,000 per month, but you can try it out for free today.

What is catalog management in e-commerce?

Catalog management helps e-commerce retailers streamline all product information in a consistent structure and hierarchy to present them accurately across all sales channels.

Sales Layer can be your catalog management software

Sales Layer is retail’s most intuitive catalog management software. It gives you a friendly interface to create catalogs of up to millions of SKUs, connects with all available marketplaces, distributors, and manufacturers.

With Sales Layer, you can host your product information and images in one place, and automatically update changes across your connected sales channels.

Ready to redefine your customer experience? Try Sales Layer today for free to ensure that your catalogs are 100% error-free.

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