7 tips for stronger ecommerce catalog management

ecommerce catalog Management product catalog management

While shopping is a go-to hobby for some, it can feel like a chore for others. Your job as a commerce professional is to turn the grueling parts of shopping – researching products, comparing prices, communicating with brands, completing transactions, receiving items, making returns, and so on – into experiences that leave consumers wanting to come back for more.

For online shopping, this starts with maintaining an organized, high-quality product catalog. But as consumer behavior and technology evolve, so do the strategies for catalog management.

Drawing from my experience managing feeds for global companies with millions of SKUs, like Redbubble, let’s look at some of the most popular trends this year.

2024 trends for product catalog management

  • Personalized product experiences

In the coming year, ecommerce catalog management will witness a significant shift toward AI-driven personalization. Companies are deploying tools powered by generative AI technology to craft hyper-personalized experiences – tailoring categories, filters, and product recommendations to individual buyers. This fusion of AI and personalized product experiences will drive deeper customer engagement and sustained growth in 2024.

  • Interactive product catalogs

71% of online shoppers say they feel drawn to a shopping experience that is assisted by augmented reality (AR). Options like virtual try-ons and 360-degree product views are huge value-adds for your shoppers. They want to know how well that dress, lipstick shade, or jewelry suits them before they decide to buy it. An actual preview, rather than just imagining if a recliner would make a good addition to the living room, is something buyers have come to expect.

  • Voice assistance experience

Who wouldn’t say ‘yes’ to a little company and help while shopping? A voice assistant takes shopping experiences a step ahead by eliminating the active effort needed to browse for their purchases. Rather, a voice assistant understands your customers’ commands and guides them to the products or services they are searching for.

Voice assistance experience

Source: linkedin

  • Sustainable shopping

Sustainable shopping has surged in popularity, driven by consumer demand for ethical and eco-friendly products. With 49% of businesses experiencing increased demand, brands are under pressure to provide transparency on ingredients, materials, and fair trade practices within their product details. To meet these expectations, over half of companies plan to enhance sustainability disclosures. Failure to implement ESG data into product content not only puts your brand reputation at risk, but it also drives consumers toward competitors who make this information readily available. The era of sustainable shopping demands swift action and accountability from brands to secure consumer trust and loyalty.

Today’s challenges with ecommerce catalog management

While there is plenty to be excited and motivated by in the modern commerce world, the reality is that most companies aren’t necessarily equipped to take advantage of these trends. Today’s online businesses encounter various challenges when it comes to managing their product catalogs. One common issue is maintaining consistency and accuracy across multiple channels. For instance, discrepancies in product information between their website, mobile app, and social media platforms can confuse customers and lead to lost sales.

Another challenge is dealing with large volumes of product data. As the number of products increases, organizing and updating information becomes increasingly complex and time-consuming. Additionally, ensuring data quality and completeness can be daunting, especially when dealing with product variations and attributes.

Then, keeping up with industry trends and consumer demands adds another layer of difficulty. Online stores must continuously adapt their product offerings to stay competitive and meet evolving customer expectations.

The compilation of all of these factors has led us to a state of commerce complexity, where businesses can barely handle the bare minimum requirements of product catalog management, let alone take advantage of the compelling trends previously mentioned.

7 tips for more effective product catalog management

Luckily, there is hope for enhancing the visibility, usability, and overall performance of product catalogs. In this section, we'll explore essential best practices to optimize your ecommerce catalog management.

  • Consistent product information

Maintaining consistency in product information across all channels is vital for enhancing the user experience and ensuring accurate search results. For example, if you're selling shoes, consistency in product titles, such as "Nike Air Max 90" across your website, mobile app, and social media platforms, ensures uniformity and reduces confusion for customers.

  • High-quality product images

High-quality product images play a pivotal role in captivating customers and driving conversions. Invest in professional photography or utilize high-resolution images provided by suppliers to showcase your products in the best possible light. For instance, an online furniture store may offer multiple high-resolution images from different angles to provide customers with a comprehensive view of each product.

  • Detailed product descriptions

Detailed product descriptions provide customers with essential information to make informed purchasing decisions. Include key features, specifications, and benefits to address potential customer queries and alleviate doubts. For example, an electronics retailer might highlight the screen size, resolution, processor type, and other technical specifications of a laptop to assist customers in their decision-making process.

  • Accurate product attributes

Accurate and comprehensive product attributes enable customers to filter, compare, and find products more efficiently. Ensure consistency in attribute naming and values to facilitate easy navigation and search. A clothing retailer should include attributes such as size, color, material, and fit to cater to diverse customer preferences and requirements.

  • Regular catalog updates

Updating your product catalog regularly is essential to reflect changes in inventory, pricing, and availability. Implement processes to ensure timely updates and maintain accuracy across all product listings. For example, an online grocery store should update product availability based on real-time inventory data to avoid customers trying to buy an ingredient for their recipe that is out-of-stock.

  • Optimized product categories

Well-organized product categories streamline the browsing experience for customers and improve discoverability. Create logical and intuitive category structures with clear labels to help customers navigate your catalog effortlessly. For instance, a beauty retailer might categorize products based on skincare, makeup, haircare, and fragrance to facilitate targeted browsing.

  • Mobile-friendly catalog design

With the increasing prevalence of mobile shopping, optimizing your product catalog for mobile devices is crucial. Design a responsive and mobile-friendly interface that provides a seamless shopping experience across various screen sizes and devices. Prioritize features such as fast loading times, easy navigation, and intuitive search functionality to cater to mobile users effectively.

By implementing these best practices, ecommerce businesses can enhance the usability, discoverability, and overall performance of their product catalogs, ultimately driving sales and improving customer satisfaction.

What you stand to gain from a stronger product catalog

Improving your product catalog can be a real business changer. Here’s how:

  • Be more visible online

Did you know that 15% of US consumers shop online almost once a week? Yes, today is undeniably a digital era. If your goal is to grow your business efficiently, then your virtual presence matters the most. However, with about 29.7% of today’s businesses in the US being online, you need to set an imprint much stronger.

Your product catalog can do this for you. A product catalog is more like your business’ virtual store facade. By organizing and detailing your products and services well and offering a UI-friendly shopping platform, you can draw customers to your website and retain them.

  • Make more sales

The internet plays a huge part in the choices and decisions we make. Around 81% of shoppers research online before they make a purchase decision. Following the guidelines to efficient catalog management is the best way to tell your target customers why they should choose you. Further, it helps you expand your reach to a wider audience in new markets. In turn, you can grow your business and drive more sales.

  • Track customer behavior

Taking your business online is definitely a step towards success. But how do you know your online tactics are helping you progress? Imagine you’ve listed your business online and created an efficient product inventory, but your sales are stagnant. This indicates your ecommerce strategy needs fixing!

It is important for a business to understand what its customers prefer and what they don’t. Analytics tools, like Amazon retail analytics, enable you to track the browsing and shopping patterns of your buyers and understand their behavior. These insights can help you optimize your business strategies and enhance the customer experience.

  • Ace the competition

Nearly all businesses, both small and big, are going online today. Research reveals that 2040 will witness 95% of ecommerce purchases. Now is the time to buckle up for this continuous revolution. Having an informative, customer-friendly product catalog can make a huge difference. It sets a competitive edge over other businesses and improves your customer loyalty by providing the convenience they’re seeking.

How can Productsup help you with catalog management?

Productsup offers a comprehensive suite of tools and solutions for feed management and optimization. Whether you're looking to streamline data integration, optimize product feeds for different channels, or enhance data quality and consistency, Productsup has you covered.

Learn how Productsup automates the process of updating product catalogs to enable enterprises to manage millions of SKUs. Dive deeper into our comprehensive 2024 feed management guide for expert insights and strategies to optimize your catalog management efforts. Explore now!

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