6 Practices to Manage an eCommerce Product Catalog

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While eCommerce is among the most profitable businesses in the retail industry today, it’s also a highly competitive space. Often, merchants who invest well and employ effective online marketing strategies tend to come out on top. Whether you run your own online retail shop or you sell your products as a third-party merchant on one of the popular e-commerce markets, your sales and revenue will largely depend on how well you showcase your products and make them accessible on the respective online platform. Needless to mention, this is achieved by employing effective catalog management strategies. It’s all about making it easy for consumers to find your products by providing detailed descriptions, regularly updating your products, and employing tags in a customized way to suit your target consumers’ shopping behaviors. Doing so also allows you to build trust and to come out as a leader in the industry.

1. Provide Comprehensive Product Information

One of the first things you’ll need to do when selling digital products on your e-commerce site is to establish trust with your target consumers. You want to make sure your business comes out as trustworthy and professional, and there’s no better way to do this than through providing accurate and detailed information about your digital products. By so doing, you maximize the chances of your web store’s visitors to place an order with you and actually come back for more. Quality product information can help create a positive brand image, which is key when it comes to building a customer base. Apart from this, you’ll also need to keep the product information up-to-date. Don’t forget to use high-quality images and other visuals as they are quite effective in influencing purchase decisions.

Source: FashionUnited.uk

2. Catalog Management Tools

Managing product catalog in e-commerce also requires the use of certain tools. Using digital software makes it easy to manage your product catalog in a way that best addresses the needs of your customers while also boosting your conversion rates. As you will realize if you take a look at kionec.com.au, a good catalog management tool will help you create, store, manage, and keep your product catalog always up-to-date in whatever channel you operate from without much strain. Using catalog management tools serves to standardize your product information across various platforms while unifying it and centralizing it.

There are several types of catalog-management tools to choose from depending on your line of business and the kind of products you’re offering. For your e-commerce store, some tools you may consider using include:

  • Product information systems
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Standalone eCommerce platform-tools
  • ERP integrated e-commerce software

While using these tools will make things easier, you’ll also need to avoid product data duplication. This can create room for errors as well as SEO problems.

3. Related/Alternative Products Suggestions

If you’ve shopped online at least several times, there’s a high chance you’ve ended up buying one or a few products you didn’t initially intend to. As opposed to acting as an impulse-buying trigger, suggesting alternative or related products to your customers is a great way to add value and better their shopping experience. A consumer is likely to think, “wait, I actually need this”, or “this one is actually better than this”. It also encourages your consumers to carry on browsing in their quest to find the product they’re looking for. Most importantly, it makes it easy for customers to locate and access the items they’re looking for from your product catalog.

Source: pcmag.com

4. Strategic Tagging and Categorizing

Categorizing and tagging your products systematically will go a long way in boosting your e-commerce returns. It will also make it easier for visitors to browse through your site while searching for products they’re interested in. You can provide your customers with the option to sort, refine, and filter product information to improve their search experience.

When employing tags and categories products, however, you’ll want to put your customers’ interests in mind. For instance, how is the customer most likely to search a product on your site? Do they search by material, price, brand, size, or color? With an understanding of these attributes, it will be easier for you to know which tags to place against which products. Also, it’s important to keep your tags, measurement units and attributes consistently.

5. Optimizing Product Descriptions

While you want to make it easy for the consumer to find your products, you also need to make it easier for the search engine crawlers. This can be achieved by providing optimized product descriptions, preferably short, engaging, and carrying the right keywords that are strategically placed for e-commerce SEO. Great descriptions are also accompanied by bullet points below the introductory paragraphs, highlighting crucial information such as the product’s striking features, what it’s made of, and where it is from. While at it, it’s also important to use simple language and ensure that the descriptions are unique and distinct. In a nutshell, optimized product descriptions will help you to:

  • Grab the visitors’ attention
  • Increase your page’s visibility on search engines results
  • Increase your product’s accessibility online
  • Help visitors to learn more about the product
Source: Hedge Think

6. Mapping the Catalog Management Process

More often than not, e-commerce operations involve multiple stakeholders. This, in most cases, makes the catalog management process a bit complex. Mapping out your catalog management process first can ease the process so you can pinpoint the location of other stakeholders, external or internal along the process. It helps identify the parts of the catalog touched by stakeholders along with which stakeholders are affected by catalog changes and when they are affected. This way, you’ll also know who to approach whenever your product catalog needs to be updated.

With an effective catalog management strategy in place, the various processes in your e-commerce business can run smoothly and more effectively. It becomes easier to wow prospective customers, build your brand, and establish a strong foot in the market. It also allows you to overcome various challenges, including the ones experienced when selling on multiple channels, dealing with different suppliers, updating product details, and maintaining data consistency, among others. The above are just a few essential practices for product catalog management e-commerce entrepreneurs should adhere to.