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Challenges of E-commerce Catalog Management

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e-commerce catalog management challenges

It is the prevalent set of challenges that makes e-commerce an exciting space. It is these innocuous provocations that push entrepreneurs to think and innovate. Technology adoption has helped e-commerce increase its market share but they are yet to get par with increasing return rates and customer dissatisfaction.

65% of products are returned on e-commerce platforms due to mistakes from the retailers themselves and 22% of customers claimed that they returned the product because it wasn’t portrayed accurately online. If challenges of e-commerce catalog management are not addressed at the earliest, it will render marketplaces obsolete and offer competitors, a winning chance.

With a focus on controlling return rates, offering top-notch customer experience and increase repurchases, e-commerce players need to weed out these challenges of e-commerce catalog management at the earliest:

Challenge 1: Coping with Constant Catalog Upgrade Need

The entire world is going through a systematic change; with new regulations, tax regimes and limitations being introduced, the price, composition, and packaging of products are fluctuating. The fluctuation demands retailers to make requisite changes in the catalog to offer correct information. Failing to update catalog as soon as changes are announced can coax marketplaces into paying hefty fines.

Also Read: 5 Quality Checks to Ensure High-Converting Catalog for E-commerce Stores

Challenge 2: Scale SKUs without affecting Catalog Quality

A thriving marketplace must add new products to retain existing customers, the addition of new products not only encourages customers to spend more time on your site but also increases chances of conversion.

Running an e-commerce platform requires an immense focus on payment security, logistics and inventory management, which leaves marketplaces with no time to focus on catalog management. Marketplaces can always outsource e-commerce catalog management to third parties and meet their scaling demands. Reliance on an industry leader can help marketplaces achieve pass percentages, improve product discovery and also offer better search functionality.      

Challenge 3: Misplaced Attribute Values

Often products are labeled with attribute values, which is either incorrect or added deliberately to drive exposure. Misplaced attribute values is a challenge because these values can influence search results impacting the overall product discovery.

When fake products are labeled with attribute values of a brand, it starts appearing in results related to the original product. When brand interference occurs, customers end up buying products that are neither original nor required.

How to Tackle Misplaced Attribute Values?

Through Catalog Enrichment, marketplaces can remove wrong or unwanted attribute values and control brand interference. Catalog enrichment offers other benefits like theme-based bucketing, which can be used to promote products during Holiday sales.

Catalog Enrichment can prove to be a key player in helping customers make an informed decision. By enriching the catalog, marketplaces can make product discovery faster and easier, leading to more sales.

Must Read: 10 Customer Delight Ideas For eCommerce Industry You Must Try in 2019

Challenge 4Normalization and Standardization

With customer experience replacing price and brand as the key differentiator, marketplaces need to offer a similar experience at all touchpoints.

It is necessary to ensure that catalogs of all SKUs are updated in a similar/standard format. By following a standard format, marketplaces make it easier for customers to find the information they are looking for.

Normalization and Standardization can help retailers offer customers a similar experience at all touchpoints. By reviewing all products to ensure a particular standard is followed through every catalog is necessary and it can be achieved by implementing normalization and standardization.

Challenge 5: Duplicate Listing

The popularity of e-commerce marketplaces has got sellers competing among themselves; sometimes sellers are competing for the “Buy Now” button while other times for organic ranking. While the competition is healthy and allows the seller with the best pricing, delivery options and after-sales service with the best ranking, some sellers are trying to trick the system.

Sellers are trying to rank above their competitors by creating a duplicate listing. Marketplaces do not allow sellers to create a new list when the product is already listed by some other seller. Selling under the old list will require

How Duplicate Listing Affects the Entire Marketplace?

Through duplicate listing, sellers with no experience or low rating can rank higher and receive orders. When sellers with low ranking fail to fulfill orders on time, the overall customer experience takes a dip and marketplaces suffer. With so much riding on customer experience, marketplaces cannot afford to ignore it.

Apart from customer experience, the chances of delivering a fake product also increase with the duplicate listing. Since these listings are not authenticated and often offer heavy discounts, they fail to deliver quality products, which leads to a spike in return rates.

Also Read: 10 Tips to Improve Seller Performance on Your Online Marketplace

Challenge 6: Optimizing Content to Control Return Rates

The fact that 22% of customers agreed that they returned products because the item wasn’t portrayed accurately online puts a lot of focus on catalog management. The stat also reveals a hidden opportunity. It can be deciphered that by improving the catalog, marketplaces can control return rates.

Sellers often trick customers into buying products by listing wrong information in the catalog. Traversing content on a regular basis for errors and then rectifying them can help marketplaces

Why controlling return rate is important?

  • Returns affect the overall customer experience
  • When a product is returned both sellers, as well as the marketplace, loses money
  • Every return gives your competitor an opportunity to upscale
  • Churn rate increases

How return rates can be controlled?

  • Traversing catalog and removing errors
  • Labeling all products correctly
  • Proper categorization of products
  • Removing misplaced attribute values

Check out: 23 E-commerce Statistics Every Leader Needs to Know

Conclusion

The changing landscape of e-commerce requires players to buckle up to pursue a series of changes. It is now time for e-commerce players to look outside for help. By outsourcing catalog management, players can reduce challenges of e-commerce catalog management and focus on expansion.

Catalog enrichment, catalog quality check, and product discovery services can help e-commerce marketplaces handle all these catalog management challenges with great ease and grace.

At MattsenKumar, we are a team of professionals equipped with the requisite experience and skills to help you grow your e-commerce business. With our catalog management, catalog enrichment, and search optimization services, you can achieve your targets without compromising your overall customer experience.

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