Imagine entering a store where products are categorized incorrectly, where price and product tags are in a complete disarray and have been attached to the wrong items. In the digital realm, 60% of customers will leave your site if they can’t find what they were looking for in the first place different item and price mentioned on them.
So it goes without saying that every customer accurate and structured information for the products on display – whether online or offline. Brands and sellers can be ensure this through a well maintained and constantly updated product catalog. This means that unless a product has all the desired information and images, a seller or brand will not be able to convince a potential customer. Therefore, effective product catalog management is a critical element in the e-commerce space.
What is product cataloging?
Product cataloging involves providing all possible information and images about a product to customers on online platforms (brand websites or marketplace websites) in an organized manner. This includes, and may not be limited to, five fundamental aspects:
- Product Title: An appropriate and SEO-rich product title that describes the product in a few words
- Product Specifications: This includes all the relevant attributes or specifications of a product. There is a set of mandatory attributes defined for each product type by each brand or marketplace, and hence the values for the same are compulsorily provided. There are also good to-have and optional attributes, which are added if the required information is available.
- Product Features: These are usually provided in the form of bullet points (minimum 3 bullet points in most brand or marketplace websites) and highlight the USPs of the product.
- Product Description: Every product listed online usually contains a description, either a short one of 2-3 sentences or long ones of 300-350 words. Apart from providing details of the product, a description also features SEO keywords that help to generate higher searches for the product online. Effective product descriptions take into account aspects like product searchability and discoverability. This involves plugging in relevant product keywords that make it easy to find a product through both an on-site search as well as on a web search result. A+ content are great to have for brands and sellers as they make the transition higher up the search result ranks seamless.
- Product Images: No product listed online will attract any customer if it does not have images or lacks good quality images. Product images are the first thing that catches the attention of customers when they search for products online. Every brand or marketplace tries to provide at least 3-5 high-resolution images per product, covering all possible angles, i.e., front view, back view, side view, zoom view, and the likes. The images are resized as per the allowed dimensions of the concerned website and uploaded. Augmented reality applications are yet another aspect worth considering if you want to make it hard for your customers to leave from an immersive product experience.
How to manage product catalogs and ensure they stay effective?
There are two ways of managing a product catalog. First is catalog creation, which involves fresh content creation, and the other is catalog enrichment, which requires updating an existing catalog.
- Catalog creation: To create fresh content, either product information and images shared by a brand or manufacturer are referred to, or relevant data and images are sourced only from the brand website. Based on these data and images, the product catalog is created from scratch, covering the 5 important aspects mentioned above. Guidelines specific to the brand website or marketplace website is adhered to while creating the catalog.
- Catalog enrichment: A lot of marketplace websites (sometimes brand sites too) face the challenge of product information non-uniformity on their online platform. This mostly happens with marketplace websites as sellers are given access to create and upload content. It is necessary that such content is reviewed and amended as per the guidelines of the website and ensure all information is provided accurately. The same holds true for product images also, which might require some editing or enhancement to fit the requirements of the concerned websites.
Often brands and marketplaces find it challenging to ensure effective catalog management, given the quantum of products and the time needed to oversee the same. In addition, technical expertise is needed to ensure the content is created as per the current industry trends and that the product images are striking enough to hold the customers’ attention.
Service providers in the digital commerce space like Netscribes can play a vital role here in providing the necessary support to brands or marketplaces in managing their product catalogs efficiently. To know how we can help your business effectively scale and accelerate revenue growth through unparalleled catalog management, contact us today.