Top 5 Tips to Ace Product Catalog Management
Top 5 Tips to Ace Product Catalog Management
Product catalogs play a central role in giving customers all they need to make informed purchase decisions. Product catalog management, hence, enables businesses to organize, structure and update product databases to empower customers with complete, up-to-date information.
Product catalog management plays a vital role for businesses looking to build their brand online for two primary reasons:
1) They provide customers with all the information they need to make an informed buying decision
2) They empower merchants to be on top of logistics, track products and inventory status across channels
At a deeper level, eCommerce product catalog management gives businesses the ability to replicate in-store experiences. Since customers can’t touch and interact with products as they would at a physical store, with no sales support to elaborate on use-cases and benefits, they rely heavily on catalogs to do the job.
Picture this. You walk into a supermarket or a mall, and you have clear demarcations and indications that point towards different product categories. Products are intuitively organized with clear pricing information and other details. If you still have questions, you find willing store staff to answer them. Once you’re done with your purchase, you know where to head to check out.
This is exactly the experience you would want to create with your online store. And product catalog management helps you achieve this.
Common Product Catalog Management Challenges
Simple as it may sound, replicating a good in-store experience online is not all that simple. Poor catalog management can lead to more than a few challenges. Here are some of them:
- Inaccurate, incomplete or outdated product information caused by manual delays or errors
- Absence of a centralized system for storage leading to data latency
- Product data inconsistencies caused by multiple stakeholders
- Absence of multi-channel integration leading to poor customer experience
- Inaccurate stock status or pricing information
Tips for Product Catalog Management
Mastering product catalog management requires an understanding of, (a) sales goals and target audience, (b) product range and (c) platforms and channels to sell on. These product catalog management best practices will ensure that your business stays on top of these aspects:
- Centralize your product catalog database
Maintaining a centralized source of truth plays a crucial role in ensuring, not just product consistency, but also catalog scalability. Towards this, it is also important to ensure that your product catalog hierarchy is built to support scalability. If your business is scaling up, your catalog should have the flexibility to do so too.
- Leverage quality product information to build trust
For customers to trust your business, it is pertinent that they trust your products. And this can only be achieved with consistent, complete and accurate information. Ensure that product information included is comprehensive (with technical specifications, attributes, videos, images, dimensions, inventory status etc.) with the primary goal of preempting and answering all customer questions. Again, this information should be up-to-date, preferably with real-time information.
- Categorize and tag products
Customers should be able to browse and navigate through your catalog with ease. This is only possible if products are categorized and tagged intuitively. Consistency is the single most important factor in this respect. So, for example, if you’re tagging a product as ‘Small’ in one category, tagging another one as ‘S’ in another category, this inconsistency leads to poor experience. On the other hand, ensure that attributes are relevant to product types. Using blanket attributes across disparate categories leads to, either the presence of redundant attributes for some categories, and the absence of significant ones for others.
- Map product catalog management processes
With multiple stakeholders at play, the chances of duplications and inaccuracies is always high. For this reason, it is vital to map processes, define roles and access permissions, and have automated governance rules in place. Again, it is equally vital to have overall visibility of processes for complete control. For example, if a new product enters the pipeline, it must go through a series of checks and balances to ensure it is up to business standards. With automated process flows, businesses can be rest assured that the product in question is scrutinized at every stage, and flagged, if not in keeping with these standards.
- eCommerce integration and personalization across platforms and channels
Businesses need user-friendly tools to version and design products to fit different channels, geographies and audiences. With multiple channels at play, doing this manually becomes painstaking and time-consuming. On the other hand, automated integration ensures that product information is updated according to channel or platform standards to remain relevant and effective.
A Tool to Win It All
As businesses grapple with these requirements, it becomes rather significant to identify a software tool that streamlines product catalog management for optimum business performance. And this is where a product information management (PIM) tool renders itself invaluable. That said, the platform should be designed to combine the best in automation, governance rule setting, templatized design options and more. Again, this tool should be selected based on business size, eCommerce platforms and channels in question, existing technology stacks and other defining factors.
If you’re looking for a tool that combines all this and more, look no further than Amaze PXM. A first-of-its-kind native cloud software, Amaze brings together the best in PIM, digital asset management (DAM), syndication and artificial intelligence, enabling businesses to ace product catalog management. Wondering how Amaze will fit into your business’s growth trajectory? Take a free demo with Amaze to find out more.
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