Managing an eCommerce product catalog involves more than just organizing the product data. Nowadays, shoppers tend to research more to find information they need before making a purchase.
Your eCommerce catalog is your digital storefront, the first impression that potential customers have of your business. Therefore, it is crucial to have a well-organized and up-to-date catalog to attract and retain customers.
But where do you start? How can you ensure that your catalog is optimized for the best results? This blog post will guide you through the best practices for eCommerce product catalog management. From creating a clear and consistent taxonomy to optimizing product descriptions and images, it will cover everything you need to know to create a top-notch eCommerce catalog.
Best Practices for Effective Catalog Management
Managing a product catalog can be a challenging task, especially for businesses with large product collections. In today’s competitive market, it’s more important than ever to have an effective catalog management strategy to ensure that your products are visible to potential customers and are easy to find. The key to successful catalog management lies in maintaining accurate and up-to-date information, as well as making it easy for customers to navigate and search for products.
Concerning this, here are some tips for effective catalog management:
Focus on Improving the Data Quality
For effective e-catalog management, your first step should be ensuring that your potential customers trust you and are comfortable shopping on your website. Customers who trust your business are more likely to place an order and make a final purchase decision.
In order to achieve this goal, make sure to provide accurate and complete information in your product catalog. Note that customers can only trust your brand when the information they need to assess your brand is correct and not misleading.
Look out for these three aspects that make up for quality product content:
- Add comprehensive information: while building a product catalog, ensure to add all the details your customer will need in order to make a purchase. This includes everything from technical attributes and visuals to information about inventory and units of measurement. While at it, make sure all this information is clear and easy to navigate for the user.
- Ensure the information you provide is up-to-date: This will help your customer make an informed decision and improve their shopping experience. Herein, make sure to regularly update information regarding your inventory, product details, and availability.
- Use high-quality visuals for better engagement: high-quality visuals never fail to attract customers and keep them engaged throughout their purchase. Hence, always stay in front using multiple media formats to make your products look more appealing.
Organize and Categorize Your Product Catalog Using Tags
Adding tags and systematically categorizing your products will help customers to easily browse through your catalog. Plus, this will also give them an option to filter and sort product options and make a choice effectively.
Make sure to implement it from a customer’s perspective. This entails thinking about how your customers will look for information and how they browse your website.
For example, suppose a customer searches for a ‘cotton shirt’ on your website. If your product is only tagged with attributes based on size, measurements, and color, it’ll not show up in the user’s top results. This may make the customer leave your site and ultimately lead to decreased sales.
Map Your Catalog Management Process
There are multiple stakeholders involved in an eCommerce business, which can make catalog processing a bit challenging. However, you can overcome this challenge by mapping out your catalog management process. This involves identifying different stages of the process and pinpointing where your internal and external stakeholders are located along the way. Doing this will help you gain a clear understanding of-
- the parties involved in the process
- the parts of the catalog management process they touch
- how and why each party is affected during the process
- When your product catalog needs an update
Mapping out your catalog management process can be especially useful when you need to update your eCommerce product catalog. With a clear map, you can quickly find the stakeholder(s) to approach for a given update or change.
For instance, if you’re a wholesaler who wants to add new products to your product catalog, a clear map of your catalog management process would help you understand the steps you need to take in the right order. This may involve collecting new product information from the suppliers, checking if your courier and shipping partner can pack and ship the new product using the available sources, commissioning a product photoshoot, creating product descriptions, and getting new Stocking Keeping Unit (SKU) documentation, etc.
Cross-sell and Upsell with Associated Or Alternative Products
Upselling and cross-selling are great options to optimize your eCommerce sales.
However, to implement these strategies effectively, it’s important to have both the original products and their complements listed side-by-side in your product catalog database. This will make it easier to recommend products that will add value to the customer’s purchase, providing them with the option to buy complementary items without having to search for them themselves.
For instance, say a customer browses your clothing website and adds a shirt to their cart. Herein, you can use upselling to suggest a higher-price shirt that matches the one in their cart but is made with premium quality materials. This is used to encourage customers to spend more money on a higher quality product.
Likewise, you can use cross-selling to suggest related items that the customer may want to purchase. Herein, you can recommend and show a picture of a pair of trousers (in your product catalog) that match the shirt perfectly. This technique is used to encourage customers to buy additional items and spend more on their purchase. Utilizing upselling and cross-selling tactics in catalog management can help businesses significantly improve sales and enhance customer experience.
Manage Your eCommerce Catalog Database
Catalog management, more or less, is a type of information management. And maintaining a clean and organized database is an important part of optimizing your product catalog for efficient results. Hence, in order to maintain an effective database, make sure to:
- Maintain a single source of information: Ensure that a centralized and accurate database is in place – that is not replicated in any other system. This will enable a single source of facts for all the product information, making it easier to manage and prevent errors.
- Establish roles and authorization flows for modifying the database: This will help stakeholders know their exact roles and responsibilities when changing the product catalog database. More so, authorization flow will help maintain and protect data quality and prevent data redundancy.
- Consider the scalability of your data structure: If you’re planning to expand your business and product catalog in the future, make sure to consider the feasibility of your data expansion. Evaluate the possibility of any new catalog data that can be collected, and managed within the current data structure. If your current data structure is not scalable, you may need to re-organize your internal data structure before expanding the product catalog.
Adverse Effects Of Poor Catalog Management :
- Inaccuracy in search results
When a customer searches for a particular product, they expect to find what they are looking for – easily and quickly. However, if the catalog is poorly managed, the search results may not accurately reflect the customer’s search query, which can ultimately lead to a frustrating user experience. As a result, customers may leave your site, which can hurt your reputation as a seller.
- Confuses potential customers
Inaccurately organizing and indexing your product catalog can confuse potential buyers and make it difficult for them to find the information they need to make a final purchase. Incorrect labels and tags can also make it challenging for customers to navigate through the catalog, leaving them frustrated and causing them to abandon the purchase altogether.
- Hampers brand reputation
Inaccurate or incomplete product information can lead to confusion, misunderstanding, and lack of trust in the business. Customers may feel deceived if they receive a product that does not match the description or image provided on the website. This may lead to negative reviews, which can have long-term consequences for a business’s brand reputation.
In a highly competitive eCommerce landscape, product catalog management can make all the difference in the success of an online store. Therefore, it’s important to adopt the best practices and continuously evaluate and improve catalog management strategies to gain a competitive edge. Herein, you can also consider partnering up with eCommerce catalog management services to further streamline the process of managing your product catalogs.