Effective e-commerce catalog management tactics for a successful holiday season

Effective e-commerce catalog management

With the holidays around the corner, there’s a lot of buzz around whether shoppers would step out this year as the number of those vaccinated surges. Recent studies reveal that a sizable part of shoppers, 57% to be precise, expect to make most of their holiday purchases online. As for researching or completing their next holiday purchase, 38% of US consumers tout mobile to be their preferred channel.

All this points to the fact that having a strong online presence will be imperative, and retailers need to pay attention to how they are represented online. Why? 55% of people need more convincing to make an online purchase compared to in-store. One way to do this is by ensuring your e-commerce product catalogs are optimized for holiday success. After all, you wouldn’t want to lose a customer on the brink of purchase for any of these reasons:

  • Missing products in your catalog
  • Inability to find the desired product on your website
  • Insufficient product information
  • Inaccurate product information

So how can you improve your current e-commerce management systems to ring in maximum sales this holiday season? Let’s find out.

1. Extract product information from multiple sources

It’s common for retailers to receive incomplete or inaccurate product information from suppliers. This information needs to be enriched to make it customer-ready. For a product page to be effective, having all the necessary details that answer common shopper questions is vital.

98% of shoppers have been discouraged from completing a purchase because of incomplete or inaccurate product content. It’s no surprise then that apart from supplier-provided information or details mentioned on the manufacturer’s site, leading retailers are researching for more information across multiple sources to help their customers make informed buying decisions.   

To inspire customers to take actions product detail pages must pack in more than just the basic information. For instance, a customer looking to purchase a comforter would want to get details on the type of material used, dimensions, care instructions, among other details.

An effective e-commerce catalog management system relies on extracting product data from multiple sources such as data feeds, APIs, and e-commerce websites. This ensures that your product pages pack all the information required for shoppers to make informed purchase decisions. What’s more? Customers trust organizations that give them detailed information about their products, which leads to more conversions. 

2. Optimize product data to appear in relevant search queries

If a product doesn’t appear in your search results, shoppers often tend to assume it’s unavailable on your platform. This holds true for both on-site and off-site search queries. Investing in improving your Google or external search engine SEO rankings is necessary. But it’s equally important to focus on refining the results that appear in internal site searches.

Shoppers who use internal site search are 2 to 3 times more likely to convert. One way to ensure the right products appear for relevant keywords in your search results is by running a search quality audit on your website. When you outsource this task to a catalog management provider like Netscribes, you can expect that customers will find what they are looking for with the least amount of effort.          

We evaluate customer search queries across several parameters, such as customer intent, spelling, synonyms and PBAGE ratings. Business and engineering teams then use these insights to improve the product catalog and website search algorithms so that search results are more accurate and relevant to customer searches.

3. Standardize product content across your website    

Retailers who receive product data from multiple third-party vendors or suppliers often receive it in a variety of formats and structures. Since every e-commerce platform follows certain templated formats, they need to make sure that there are no irregularities regarding product data, measurement units, or the use of prohibited words throughout their website. For instance, Amazon India mandates that sellers mention the country of origin for all their products. If this information has not been offered by the seller, the marketplace will not accept the product listing on its website. 

Standardizing product information in the format compatible with your platform can be a tedious and time-consuming task.  It’s no surprise because retailers often have large teams that spend weeks compiling, updating, and uploading their product data. However, doing this manually can mean overworking your team and does not necessarily guarantee the accuracy and consistency of the data that’s presented to your customers.

Netscribes uses automated workflows to minimize human errors and speed up the product data standardization process. Our solution includes providing suggestions for the correct spelling, word count, image size and format, unit of measurement. This enables you to ensure error-free, structured, and sales-ready catalogs across multiple sales channels, quickly and efficiently. Here’s a quick snapshot of how Netscibes’ proprietary e-commerce catalog management solution works:

4. Employ strategic product taxonomies

Product taxonomy and organization influence your site’s user experience. Easy navigation and discovery of products are made possible by an intuitive taxonomy. A good taxonomy structure also helps bolster your SEO efforts. Using a product catalog management solution ensures that your catalog is logically classified according to customer shopping patterns. This essentially makes it easy for shoppers to browse products online, all while improving their purchase experience. 

Any inconvenience in accessing the right product can lead to the loss of a potential sale and discourage repeat purchases. Imagine if a customer looking for specific ingredients for a Christmas cake were to step in at the local grocer’s only to find the frosting cream near the toiletries and cherries near the meat section. That’s how badly poor product taxonomies can hurt the customer experience. Categorizing products based on customer-relevant product associations as depicted below, is the first step to improving search quality.

5. Constantly monitor product page reviews

As per experts at McKinsey ever since the dawn of the pandemic, shoppers are increasingly dwelling on the perceived value of the products they purchase. 34% of consumers report checking reviews of businesses and services more frequently than they did before lockdown. Plus, historical numbers suggest that there’s always a strong influx of reviews during the holiday season.

In a world where social proof and shared experiences are the strongest forms of advertising, retailers need to keep a close watch on their customer reviews. Monitoring product pages for fake or inappropriate reviews are just as important as analyzing customer feedback to identify areas for improvement.

By combining human expertise and intelligent automation, savvy companies are already leveraging these e-commerce catalog management tactics and best practices to get ahead of the race this holiday season.                

Netscribes helps some of the world’s largest retailers and brands accelerate their e-commerce growth through our comprehensive catalog management solutions. Our custom catalog management combines human expertise with intelligent automation, to provide you solutions tailored to your specific needs. Our clients typically experience a 20% to 30% reduction in the time to list products online, in addition to increased top-line growth from better resource utilization. If you’re looking to achieve similar results this holiday season, contact us today

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