Customers are well-versed with the online technology now. From online shopping to online ticket reservation; several usual activities have transformed from offline to online. Customers navigate through various websites before making their decision. Hence, an eCommerce business must be able to provide the right product information to customers at all times.
A product catalog is essential for every eCommerce business and it ensures that the products are conveniently available online. An efficient product catalog directly impacts the sales of the organization. However, creating and managing a product catalog effectively can be challenging at times.
Challenges in Product Catalog Management
- Different information coming in from multiple stakeholders from inside and outside the organization. For example, if measurement units differ then it can create a major problem in product catalog management
- If the internal data is not converted properly for users, then incorrect product categorization can create issues.
- Choosing a catalog management tool can be a challenge in itself. Before selecting a tool, one must understand the working of the tool in detail.
- Product catalog growth is directly proportional to business growth. The need of the organization must align with the need of catalog.
Let us look at some of the best practices of product catalog management:
1. Offer Quality Product Information
The importance of providing valuable and correct product information to the customer can never be emphasized. The first objective is to ensure that your customers feel comfortable while they navigate through the eCommerce website. This also means that the website must not only be user friendly, but also customers must be able to easily locate their desired product.
By offering accurate product information customers will start trusting your brand and this will help them make faster purchase decisions. High quality product information includes technical attributes, attractive high-resolution images, videos, inventory information, units of measurement, and product usage combinations and recommendations. All the information must be updated to optimize the overall shopping experience of the customer.
2. Categorizing product catalog
Customers look for easy navigation options and clear categories like filter, refine, colors, etc. However, one must categorize their product catalog by considering the customer’s point of view. For example:
- Using ‘M’ to denote “Medium” to represent a product size
- Keeping consistency in all measurement units
- Adding various product attributes to different products based on customer needs and not have limited attributes to all products
3. Measuring the catalog management process
To effectively manage a product catalog the business must understand three pointers and analyze them from time to time:
1. Which parts of the product catalog are managed by the stakeholders?
2. Who is affected by the catalog changes?
3. When during the process does the changes affect the most?
Once you are able to understand these factors, you can quickly seek for the right person who can help you during the mapping process. Catalog management mapping processes helps you understand the different steps to be taken and in which order.
4. Offer recommendations and suggest alternatives
A product catalog must not only offer the right product information, but also suggest alternatives and recommendations for different products. This will give ideas to the customers and also provide alternatives in case a desired product is out of stock.
5. Managing your Product Catalog Database
Catalog management is similar to information management and must be maintained well. Hence, one must create a product catalog database to ensure that the right information is given to the customer. This also prevents information errors and enables expansion of products.
The above-mentioned best practices will help an eCommerce business to manage their product catalog efficiently. The eCommerce businesses are developing online as well as offline product catalogs in order to provide maximum shopping experience to their customers. While online catalogs help in faster navigation through the website, offline catalogs help in easy-to-read experience for the customers. Both are equally important to enhance business sales.