It’s an era where a majority of transactions have gone online. From making a product purchase to booking a hotel, customers these days are making a rapid shift towards online marketplaces and hence, demand a rich online experience. Therefore, it has become quintessential for retailers to take every possible step to deliver a rich online experience.
When selling your products online, e-commerce catalog management is one of the most crucial steps that can no longer be overlooked or delayed. This is because the customers in the present era are well-informed and hence, wish to see a streamlined e-commerce catalog management. While a mismanaged product catalog does not necessarily undermine the power of data, it might make it difficult to manage the product information on the digital shelf and share it with the customers.
What is E-commerce Catalog Management?
The concept of e-commerce catalog management stems from the need for presenting product information in an organized way. To be precise, an e-commerce catalog management is a process of presenting your product information in a product catalog in such a way that ensures optimum quality of the product data across all sales channels. Organizing, standardizing and publishing of the product data, both for your own products and suppliers, on each sales channel are the key components of the entire process.
A simplified and organized e-commerce catalog management provides the sellers with an opportunity to sell their products online and allow users to make some intelligent decisions based on the available data. Apart from this, there are a number of other ways in which this process can prove to be beneficial to the retailers:
1. Enriched Customer Experience
Having a well-maintained e-commerce catalog enables one to deliver enriched customer experience. Including product descriptions in your catalog empowers users to make informed decisions and gives them the confidence that they are buying the same product they want.
It would also make it easier for them to search for the required product and place an order for the same. Offering such type of user experience make you a preferred choice among your customers and in turn, lead to repeat sales.
2. Create A Reliable Product Database
When you begin to include detailed information about your products in your catalog, it enables the delivery of a rich and consistent experience to your customers. This leads to the collection of reliable product information and in turn, the development of strong product database.
But, the collection of data is never an aim. It can only be successful if the data collected is rich in quality and follows a consistent format. A pool of information with a lack of clarity is certainly of no use.
3. Delivery Of An Omnichannel Experience
A product’s information can be accessed from multiple sources such as an online shopping portal, brand website, mobile app, or any other. Therefore, it is important to make sure that a customer gets a similar experience on all these platforms. And this is what is referred to as an omnichannel experience. Omnichannel experience is a multi-channel approach that enables the delivery of seamless shopping experience on multiple platforms.
To enable its delivery, it is important to ensure that the e-commerce product catalog is consistent in format and hence, offers the same experience to customers on varied platforms.
4. Assured Business Growth
When an e-commerce catalog management is done right, it provides the sellers with an opportunity to attain their desired business growth. While outselling the products becomes a reality, it also becomes possible to improve revenue generation and win loyal customers. Moreover, there is also a notable reduction in the time and cost involved in managing these products.
Can You Manage E-commerce Catalog Without Facing Any Hurdles?
With a lot of information being updated regularly on the e-commerce product catalogs, it is obvious for the product data to become messy and inconsistent. Of course, it is a tedious job to get all this fixed and manage the data. While many find it easier to stop updating the information as the easiest rescue, there are others who prefer to stay strong and work towards finding a way to manage their e-commerce catalog better.
There are a number of other challenges that are faced by an e-commerce company to survive in the market. Some of these are mentioned below:
1. Constant Updating of Product Information
Updating product information is an ongoing task. Nevertheless, the process is tedious; it becomes essential for the merchants to keep on updating their SKUs or stock-keeping units. The reasons for this can be many such as a change in price, listing of newly available products, etc.
When this task begins turning into such a hassle, it becomes important for the merchants to spend significant time and resources on fine-tuning the details available online and keep it in sync with the required standards. Owing to this, a number of other important tasks like marketing and operations are compromised.
2. Multichannel Listing
Listing one product on multiple platforms is a complicated task and tends to take a lot of time. For instance, a product listing methodology for Amazon would be different from that of eBay. This, in turn, leads to either miss out on the information front or takes a lot of your valuable time.
The chances of losing your loyal customers also tend to increase. Therefore, the best way out is to rely on some software solution available in the market. Some of these include ChannelAdvisor, Sellbrite, GeekSeller, and CedCommerce.
3. Disorganized Supplier Data
An online product catalog includes products from multiple suppliers. These suppliers generally transfer their product data to the merchants who, in turn, upload the product details on the platform. This information is generally uploaded partially by them and in a wrong format. All such activities, in turn, calls for a need of standardizing the product information in the required format, hence, complicating the process of e-commerce catalog management.
4. Expansion of Product Catalog
When managing your product catalog is already difficult, adding more SKUs to it is even more difficult. If you really want to do so, you either have to stay with the same data quality or go back and clean the mess. Choosing any of the two is a difficult task for the merchants that, in turn, demotivate them from expanding their product range.
5. Centralized Product Catalogue Management
Many times, an e-commerce company does not have a centralized place to store, view and manage their product data. There are either multiple spreadsheets containing product details or a POS system managing the same.
A lack of centralized data storage leads to a hassle in product information management and in turn, impacts the overall quality of the product data. Searching and updating information for a particular product, in turn, complicates the task and increases trouble for those dealing with product information.
Improving Customer Loyalty Is The Ultimate Goal
Truly said, ‘success never comes easy.’ It takes a lot of individuals’ effort, time, money and patience.
Even the big brands like Apple had faced multiple challenges owing to its high-priced products that were available with almost similar features offered by its competitors at a much lesser price. But what played a major role in helping Apple win over the market is its brand reputation. Therefore, it is important for every brand to make sure that its market reputation is not affected, and it is surely going to win over the market.
A brand’s reputation is based on multiple factors such as offered product range, quality, pricing and content that describes its features on varied platforms. Since content has always been defined as the king, it actually is. It can, either help you attract a large customer base or upset your loyal customers. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the content in the e-commerce catalogs is well-managed and convincing enough to entice the target audience.
Above all, a brand’s success can only be defined by its existing customer base. Therefore, keep your customers happy, engaged and you will be able to craft a truly unique and your own success story.