An online product catalog plays a significant role in keeping your customers engaged. The way you showcase your products online displays how professional your brand is.
Think of a physical store A where all home furniture is displayed for customers. What if all the furniture is scattered around the shop, and you can’t identify which product is kept where.
Now think of a well-organized furniture store B where the dining chairs are aligned with the dining table. There’s a separate section for bedroom furniture, well-arranged like a bedroom is supposed to.
It’s pretty obvious that a customer would only visit the furniture store B that looks well-arranged. He may never visit or even recommend store A.
That’s what your eCommerce product catalog displays to your customers. You must ensure that your product names, descriptions, photos, price, and supplier are all presented as consistent and high-quality data across sales channels.
If you are new in the eCommerce niche, or if you’re just planning to improve your eCommerce catalog management, I’ll be telling you what challenges of eCommerce product catalog management; you may come across a few tips to improve it.
So, let’s hit off some basics first.
In this article:
- What is Product Catalog Management?
- What is the Importance of eCommerce Product Catalog Management?
- What are the Challenges of Product Catalog Management?
- 7 VERY Useful Tips For Better eCommerce Product Catalog Management
What is Product Catalog Management?
With eCommerce product catalog management, products from an eCommerce business get organized into one digital point of reference. Simply put, eCommerce product catalog management is done to present product information in an organized way. The product catalog is then made available to both the eCommerce seller and its buyers.
The eCommerce product catalog contains data about store products to help customers make informed purchasing decisions.
What is the Importance of eCommerce Product Catalog Management?
1. Enhanced customer experience
Having a well-groomed eCommerce product catalog allows you to provide an enhanced customer experience.
The main advantage of performing eCommerce product catalog management is that it enables buyers to make informed decisions. When you provide this ability to your customers, It builds trust with quality product information.
88% of the customers are likely to buy from the brands that enable them to make informed decisions using eCommerce product catalog management.
Offering such a customer experience makes your brand a preferred choice among your customers, leading to repeat sales.
2. Creates a reliable product database
When you include valuable details about your products in your eCommerce catalog management system, your customers can be assured that they will get what they are placing an order for. There’ll be no hassle in between.
This helps you collect valuable product information and develops a robust product database that can be used to compare your competitors, track, and make changes to help increase eCommerce growth.
However, data collection makes no sense unless it’s rich in quality and follows a consistent format. Indeed, a pool of data with no clarity is just a waste.
3. Improves brand credibility
Do you remember the example of furniture stores A and B? One can’t respect and buy from store A. The mismanagement of the store indeed leads to the loss of its brand credibility.
People tend to associate your brand appearance and management with your brand values. If you can’t keep your database well-managed, they can’t expect you to provide a service that can meet their expectations.
Your actions for your eCommerce business speak for themselves, so be mindful of what you do and how you do it.
4. Enriched omnichannel experience
Your product information can be accessed from various platforms such as an online shopping portal, website, mobile app, etc. hence; your customers must get a similar experience on all these platforms.
These touchpoints of a customer in her shopping journey are what we refer to as an omnichannel experience. Omnichannel is aimed at providing a seamless experience to shoppers through various platforms and devices involved in between.
To make sure that the experience is indeed seamless, eCommerce product catalog management needs to be consistent in format.
5. Boosts business growth
How can a good customer experience not attract new customers and keep making the existing customers come back?
A recent study revealed that the customer experience would surpass the priority level of product quality and pricing for the customers in choosing a brand and making a purchase.
This means that the shoppers prefer customer experience over anything else. As mentioned above, eCommerce product catalog management promises a great customer experience.
This helps you gain loyal customers, leading to increased eCommerce sales and conversion rates and boosting business growth.
What are the Challenges of Product Catalog Management?
1. Regularly updating product listings online
To keep your eCommerce product catalog management up to date, you must continuously update your SKUs because of constant changes in prices, newly available products, and what went out of stock or was removed from the listing.
Every day, you are required to spend significant time tuning and filtering your products so that you can list them. Hence, you must compromise your time on other tasks like marketing, operations, etc.
2. Managing product listings across various sales channels
Listing your products across multiple channels could be difficult as each platform has its listing requirements and procedures. Amazon’s product categories are different from eBay’s or Etsy’s.
How you list your products on a different marketplace also differs from how you would display them on your website. For example, you may use various backgrounds for your product images, whereas Amazon requires you to share it in a requested proportion and on a plain background.
Customizing listings to each sales platform can take hours. This can slow down your go-to-market time with products. eCommerce product catalog data can quickly become messy and lead you to make mistakes like putting incomplete or wrong information or listing in the wrong place.
3. Dealing with the data of supplier
Your suppliers or their party vendors often provide parody\uct data that lacks information and could be missing several item attributes. Data can also be handed over in the wrong format, spelling, or poor structure.
Since suppliers don’t sell directly to customers, they don’t need to standardize their product information similarly as you. These are small mistakes that you must fic before you publish data online. Having to fine-tune this data is another timely step in the process.
4. Expanding your eCommerce product catalog
When your ecommerce catalog management is already poor, it’s hard to add more SKUs when you need to. You either have to go back and clean up your SKUs or live with your existing, poor-quality data.
You may not have the time or patience to fix these issues. Unfortunately, this may discourage you from setting it and hamper your eCommerce business growth.
5. Managing dynamic demand by live tracking of inventory
If you are an eCommerce owner who deals in fashion products, you must sell several things in various categories. From skirts to ties, jeans to t-shirts, and belts to other fashion accessories.
You must have thousands and millions of products listed on your website for which you have to track inventory status – DAILY!
It becomes quite a daily task, especially if you do not have any mechanisms or tools to track and monitor inventory. This can create a huge demand-supply gap, causing extreme supply chain inefficiencies.
6. Analyzing the pricing of competitors
Product prices must be checked multiple times, as incorrect pricing can cause severe problems and hinder eCommerce business growth. Selling on various marketplaces, even on your website, requires specific listing requirements.
However, analyzing your competitors’ pricing structure can help, which at the same time, becomes more difficult as there must be several criteria. With so many products, comparing each with the same kind could be very difficult and time-consuming.
7 VERY Useful Tips For Better eCommerce Product Catalog Management
You now know what the benefits of doing eCommerce product catalog management are, and you also know what its complications are. However, once you overcome those complications, you have a bright path to follow to increase eCommerce sales and eCommerce business growth.
For this very reason, I have articulated seven handy tips that you can use to improve your eCommerce product catalog management system.
Tip 1. Join hands with an outsourcing partner
The complex and mundane nature of activities that comprise eCommerce product catalog management costs your business time and money.
By engaging with a product catalog service provider, you can easily streamline and ease off your entire eCommerce product catalog management journey.
These eCommerce product catalog management services have extensive experience accompanied by precise documentation, attractive design, and descriptions.
These companies also ensure data privacy and security.
Also, outsourcing is one of the best ways to save time that you can better utilize in more creative and growth-oriented ideas. Since we are talking about product catalog management, the images used for the product catalog are vital. To make your product images look more attractive and professional, you may outsource eCommerce Product Image Editing to a professional Product Image Retouching Service, PixelPhant. The professionals here can edit thousands of images within a few hours, saving you time while you get the expert’s assistance.
Tip 2. Get a PIM system to work
(PIM) Product Information Management System acts as a one-stop solution. It efficiently manages all essential data related to SKU, price, product descriptions, multimedia like videos and images, and product details.
A robust PIM system helps in real-time integration, and data mapping, and aligns appropriate information across all the channels.
The operational benefits of PIM are:
- Data structure
- Improved accuracy of data
- Content optimization
- Streamlining data entry
The strategic benefits of PIM are:
- Faster go-to-market strategies
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Channel optimization
Tip 3. Make use of analytics and automation
Analyzing every aspect of your eCommerce business is crucial in enhancing your brand image, boosting sales, and seamlessly improving customer experience. And the most crucial part is that it helps you track all KPIs. You can accomplish all this with analytic tools and automation.
From automated product categorization, content moderation to scaling eCommerce product catalogs, machine learning and AI-based analytics can successfully make you capable of catalog optimization.
Tip 4. Build a robust and flexible SEO strategy
Your SEO strategies must be customized to suit each eCommerce selling place’s SE requirements to help you grow equally well on all targeted eCommerce marketplaces. To achieve this, having a dynamic SEO strategy becomes peremptory.
eCommerce product catalog management becomes a success only when product catalog content helps you achieve your products’ desired levels of visibility. You can accomplish this by leveraging professional marketers and SEO experts who can be your long-term partners in streamlining your entire content management journey.
Tip 5. Native Product Catalog
Make sure that your eCommerce product catalog management is designed in such a way that it should be accessible on iOS, Android, and computer systems. A native eCommerce product catalog will allow for easy access and reach.
Tip 6. Tag and Categorize Your eCommerce Product Catalog
Customers don’t have all the time to scan each word you’ve written and listed. Save their time and keep them engaged by tagging and classifying your products in a good manner.
Be sure that tagging is personalized based on the search pattern of your customers. Study their preferred method of describing the categories of products you offer before tagging.
For example, tag your products with S, M, and L if your customers are searching for categories in sizes.
Use all measuring units like inches and meters to ensure consistency and relevancy.
Tip 7. Use tailored catalogs
A tailor-made catalog can attract customers highly and keep them engaged for longer. People prefer the information that’s relevant to them. This shows how much you value your customers and care about them.
Leverage eCommerce product catalog management to improve your business growth by allowing your customers to make informed decisions.
This instantly enhances customer experience and engagement, which boosts eCommerce business growth.
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