Mastering e-commerce catalog management for a profitable holiday season

e-commerce catalog


  • The article emphasizes the increasing importance of online presence for retailers, with 58% of American adults using smartphones for product research, and highlights that 28% of consumers plan to spend less during the holiday season in 2023.
  • Retailers are advised to optimize e-commerce product catalogs to ensure a seamless shopping experience by addressing issues like incomplete or inaccurate product data, poor search results, and inconsistent product content across their websites.
  • Key strategies for successful e-commerce catalog management include assimilating product data from various sources, improving product information for targeted searches, ensuring uniform product content, implementing effective product categorization, and closely monitoring product page reviews to leverage social proof and shared experiences for increased sales.

With the holiday season fast approaching, the question on everyone’s mind is who will win the bigger buck? Online or retail stores. Over half (58%) of American adults who shop online via their smartphones now frequently employ these devices for pre-purchase product and service research, as noted by Forrester’s data. This marks a notable uptick from the 54% reported in the previous year, 2021. These statistics underscore the importance of establishing a robust online presence for retailers.

In a June 2023 survey of 302 consumers, 28% intend to spend less this holiday season compared to 2022, while 63% plan to spend the same as last year. So convincing will need more work this season. To ensure a seamless shopping experience, optimize your e-commerce product catalog effectively. Retailers must tackle issues like missing products, item discoverability problems, incomplete product info, and inaccuracies.

e-commerce catalogs
Source: Experian

So, how can retailers enhance their e-commerce catalog management systems to maximize sales during the holiday season? Let’s explore some key strategies:

1. Assimilate product data from various sources

One common challenge for retailers is receiving incomplete or inaccurate product data from suppliers. To address this issue, retailers should enrich this data to make it customer-ready. An effective product page should contain comprehensive details that answer the common questions of shoppers.

Incomplete or inaccurate product content can discourage 98% of potential buyers from completing a purchase. Top retailers go the extra mile with additional information from various sources, to get customers to make informed buying decisions. Customers take action when product detail pages provide extensive information, like material type, dimensions, care instructions, and more.

Retailers can streamline e-commerce catalog management by extracting product data from various sources, like data feeds, APIs, and online sites. This ensures that product pages contain all the necessary information for customers to confidently make purchase decisions. Detailed information instills trust in customers and leads to higher conversion rates.

2. Improve product information for targeted searches

If a product does not appear in search results, customers often assume it’s unavailable on the platform, both for on-site and off-site search queries. Improving search engine optimization (SEO) rankings for external search engines is essential, but equal attention should be given to refining on-site search results.

Customers who use internal site search are 2 to 3 times more likely to complete a purchase. Retailers can ensure that relevant products appear in search results by conducting a search quality audit on their website. Outsourcing this task to catalog management providers, like Netscribes, can enhance the customer experience by helping customers easily find what they’re looking for.

E-commerce catalog management providers evaluate customer search queries based on several factors, including customer intent, spelling, synonyms, and PBAGE (Price, Brand, Availability, Good reviews, and Excellent service) ratings. Insights from these evaluations guide business and engineering teams in improving the product catalog and website search algorithms. This leads to more accurate and relevant search results that align with customer searches.

product catalog

3. Ensure uniform product content across your website

Retailers often receive product data from multiple third-party vendors or suppliers, resulting in different formats and structures. Retailers must ensure consistent product data, measurement units, and prohibited words across their e-commerce platform.

Standardizing product information to align with the platform’s format can be a time-consuming task. It often requires large teams to spend weeks compiling, updating, and uploading product data. However, manual standardization is labor-intensive and does not guarantee data accuracy and consistency.

To streamline the product data standardization process and minimize human errors, Netscribes employs automated workflows. Their solution includes providing suggestions for correct spelling, word count, image size and format, and units of measurement. This ensures that retailers can maintain error-free, structured, and sales-ready catalogs across various sales channels quickly and efficiently. Netscribes’ proprietary e-commerce catalog management solution offers a comprehensive approach to this critical aspect of online retail.

4. Implement effective product categorization

The organization of product taxonomies significantly influences a website’s user experience. A well-structured taxonomy ensures easy navigation and product discovery while also enhancing SEO efforts. Retailers can benefit from a product catalog management solution to logically categorize their catalogs based on customer shopping patterns. This makes it simple for shoppers to browse products and ultimately improves their overall shopping experience.

Inefficient product taxonomies can lead to potential sales losses and deter repeat purchases. A poor taxonomy system can be likened to a situation at a local grocery store. Customers looking for Christmas cake ingredients might find the frosting cream near toiletries and cherries near the meat section. Properly categorizing products based on customer-relevant associations is the initial step in improving search quality.

5. Have a constant eye on product page reviews

Shoppers have become more discerning about the value of the products they purchase. 64% of respondents expressed a greater inclination to buy a product when it boasted more than 1,000 reviews. This was in comparison to a product with only 100 reviews.

Additionally, historical data indicates a surge in reviews during the holiday season.

In an era where social proof and shared experiences hold significant influence, retailers must diligently monitor their customer reviews. This not only involves checking for fake or inappropriate reviews but also analyzing customer feedback to identify areas for improvement.

Forward-thinking companies gain a competitive edge by combining human expertise with intelligent automation in e-commerce catalog management.

In summary, the upcoming holiday season presents a golden opportunity for retailers to capitalize on the shift towards e-commerce. To make the most of this trend, retailers should focus on optimizing their online presence, addressing common catalog issues, and implementing catalog management solutions for superior product data handling and customer experience.

Some of the world’s largest retailers and brands collaborate with Netscribes to accelerate e-commerce growth through their comprehensive catalog management solutions. This custom catalog management solution combines human expertise with intelligent automation to deliver tailored solutions that help clients reduce the time to list products online by 20% to 30%, in addition to achieving increased top-line growth through optimized resource utilization. For retailers seeking similar results during the holiday season, contacting us is your next best strategic move.

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