Ecommerce businesses are shifting to running their processes with catalog management systems. If you fancy figuring out how you can benefit from this ecommerce trend and get some valuable tips on how to choose catalog management software, let's go.
In a vast ocean of product information, you can easily drown if not being able to react quickly and consistently on demand of a modern buyer. Imagine this. Your competitor has the same range of products as you do. I’ll let you decide whether he is smart or not. Let’s name him P. P uploaded all product data from a free widely accessible source. So basically his marketplace has a similar (if not totally identical) product descriptions as other platforms have. Well, you would say he’s not quite a bright mind. Maybe. I would say at least he thought about using a product catalog. But jokes aside. What about uniqueness and competition? Let’s leave it for now and proceed with the catalog management definition.
What is a product catalog?
Product Catalog is a set of information about a product, like SKU, product description (name, price, colour, dimensions, benefits, category, sub-category) and all the possible items’ attributes as well as keywords for better SEO. Moreover, it is about having quality pictures and videos, in all possible angles, with an ability to rotate, zoom, and see how it would look/feel like for a customer to already have an item.
So what is the catalog management at all?
Let me put it in simple words. It is a process helping managing the quality of all your product listings throughout the multiple sales channels and be shaped to specific buyers’ formats. Generally, it complies with organization, standardization, and publication of the product data across sales channels. And it can be hosted either by a supplier or a buyer.
Let’s say you are a multichannel online retailer. You have various digital points of sales: from branded sites to such huge monster marketplaces as Amazon, eBay, and some small newcomers like Shopify, etc. The thing is, each of them would demand different formats of product descriptions. Here’s where the challenge pops up. Either you’re a small business or a considerable b2b.
End buyer - which is your main target - expects a high-quality rich content about a product and a personalized experience. Therefore, you need to be maximally responsive to the urges of an online shopper, otherwise, he would go with your competitors’ flow. People shop online 24/7. And according to statista, the number of online purchases of both goods and services would reach 2.14 billion just in few years. Pretty stable increase to think of investment, right?
Which basic features are covered by the average catalog management tool?
Let’s put a few main things ecommerce catalog could cope with:
- Creation and editing of product images, information, and multimedia;
- Product data storage (descriptions, prices, delivery time, units of measure, supplier, product filter, etc.);
- Adjusting languages and locations;
- Automatically prices updatings, and other necessary corrections;
- Integration with social channels;
- Competitors’ pricing/stock comparison;
You get an automated online service of the catalog content management, which would save your expenses, time and eliminate the chances of your potential buyer to be misinformed.
Which product catalog software to choose?
Now let’s figure out what would be the most beneficial choice of product content management software in 2019.
1) SAP Ariba Catalog Management is one of the SAPs products worth sticking to, at least knowing the company cares about its reputation and you’d surely be guided through the process of installation, organization, and management. Key benefits? …Receiving more accurate orders, less time fixing customers’ issues, automated process, which eliminates possible mechanical mistakes in data.
2) For small and medium online retailers would do Plytix PIM Software. A cloud-based digital tool, which helps you create product catalogs, upload all necessary product info. The import mapping feature enables retailers to check on the accuracy of the data before it has been uploaded. Also, it is quite cheap.
3) Prisync promises to outsmart your competition with analysis of their pricing, stock data, and brand category indices. In addition to this, it has an inbuilt pricing module to automatically adjust to your competitors’ and improve margins.
Outlining common challenges of product catalogs
If catalog management process flow still seems like a piece of cake for you, let’s have a look at a few challenges you might face working with it.
Being consistent across various sales channels.
On the one hand, it became easier for consumers to get the product information they need. On the other hand, it gets harder for retailers to keep the data updated and correct across multiple marketplaces and e-shops. Mapping product info becomes a huge challenge.
Launching products on time.
Transferring a product from offline to online mode could be a big time consumer. For most retailers, it could be 1 to 2 months. But such giants as Alibaba or Amazon would not forgive even an extra day delay.
Adjusting product catalogs to different marketplaces.
As we have mentioned before, various marketplaces have their own specifications, which makes it a decent challenge to adjust each listing point to them.
Miscategorization and product discovery issue.
If the product is categorized differently across various channels, it’s hard to keep track of the possible mistakes in descriptions. And it makes it hard to find products over various digital marketplaces if you don’t have an automated catalog. Moreover, you risk losing customer’s loyalty. Say a shopper is looking for a silver gaming Intel-Core i5 4gb laptop, and in a search, it appears as a grey laptop. Fiasco. The closer description would be to the one a consumer is searching - the more chances he’d find exactly your product. Miscategorization and inaccuracy in the description can cost you up to 14% of site’s earnings.
Automated syndication system helps running smooth ecommerce sales
Poor quality data can cost you a reputation. To make catalogs consistent, standardize tags and stay on track you thought of implementing automated service catalog management. And here you might come across Gepard Syndication Platform, which connects you to one or more catalog providers, extracts the data you need (photos, specifications, parameters and more), restructures and adapts it to your website and different online stores and marketplaces.
What challenges you can solve?
- Transformation of product information
- Data aggregation from multiple sources
- Data distribution to multiple sources
This could be your catalog management solution and a business buoy: automated import of product descriptions across all channels. No special developer’s skills needed from your side. Syndicator does it all for you.
Is it worth to automate the process of managing product catalogs? The answer would be yes if you want to stay ahead of competitors and associate with quality. So make sure you got fresh and updated content of products, precise and full descriptions, accurate info all over the sales channels. Contact us and we`ll share our experience with you.