Building an effective eCommerce catalog is easier said than done. Today’s customers demand rich, consistent product information. If yours isn’t up to their standards, they won’t have the confidence to buy from you and end up going somewhere else. Put simply: Poor quality data can cost you your reputation. But managing product data remains a major challenge for merchants. Payflex examines some of the main challenges experienced by eCommerce merchants when it comes to catalog management:
Keeping product listings up-to-date
Keeping your eCommerce catalog constantly updated is critical. This includes updating prices and availability and adding new products. Doing this for a large number of items manually, for example, using Excel sheets, may lead to inaccurate information, grammatical mistakes, missing attributes, etc.
Managing products across multiple channels
Selling across multiple channels means you will have more eCommerce catalogs to maintain and more product listings to update. Each of these channels will likely have different listing requirements, making your product updates more time consuming and challenging. In addition, all eCommerce websites specify their own formats in which they require sellers to upload product information. Doing so at scale is difficult and time intensive, and could lead to incorrect product content.
Maintaining data quality
If merchants do not have the right tools, making mass changes manually is likely to result in errors. Poor data quality is an extremely common problem and has the potential to be extremely damaging to a brand. It is therefore of paramount importance to ensure that every product listing contains accurate and detailed information that will help your buyers make an informed decision about their purchase.
Customers not only want precise and detailed information about items but also expect it to be user-friendly and easy to understand. Poor product content negatively affects the effectiveness of promotional activities and merchandising initiatives like personalisation and product recommendations.
Some of the key strategies merchants can adopt to tackle eCommerce catalog challenges include:
Cultivate trust with your customers
Cultivate trust with your audience by providing a seamless online customer journey from start to finish. Include comprehensive information in your eCommerce product catalogue including technical attributes, images, videos, inventory information and units of measurement. This information needs to be up-to-data, accurate, and easy to access.
Making sure your items are properly categorised will be central to your success in eCommerce catalog management. Offering customers the option to filter, refine, and sort your product information will allow them to find the products as easily and quickly as possible. In addition, you need to ensure all product tags are consistent. For example, do not change or switch the way you change products i.e. switching between “Small” and “S” and ensure all measurement units are consistent.
There is a large selection of product management tools available. It’s a matter of choosing the right tool that meets your business needs. When researching what tool to go with, consider your existing tech stack, business size, the complexity of your product catalog, and whether you have plans to expand to multiple web stores in the future.
Depending on your business needs, your e-commerce product catalog can be managed through: A stand-alone eCommerce platform, spreadsheet software, a product information system (PIM) or an eCommerce platform that integrates with your ERP
Upsell & Cross-Sell
Suggesting similar products in your eCommerce product catalog is an easy way to increase your average order value.
Data quality key to success
In the post-Covid era of online shopping, it is critical to keep your eCommerce catalog consistent. In order to do so, you need to focus on your data quality. Data like the product name, price, use, brand information, plays an instrumental role in influencing the buyer’s decision. Therefore, efficient eCommerce catalog management is no longer a nice-to-have for eCommerce businesses but an absolute essential in today’s highly competitive eCommerce landscape.