Common Challenges and Effective Strategies in eCommerce Product Catalog Management
Handling an eCommerce business is challenging. To make your business successful, you need to have all the necessary tools and processes in place and come up with the most efficient means of handling all the inventory, marketing, packaging, and shipping. Not to mention the maintenance of your product catalog, which is also a huge undertaking on its own.
Why Your eCommerce Product Catalog is Essential
Shoppers are used to the practice of searching for products online. With the growing number of eCommerce businesses, you have to make sure that online shoppers can find you. And what better way is there to get your eCommerce business closer to your audience than by improving your product catalog? This helps your brand stay competitive and accessible to the right prospective customers.
Common Challenges in Managing a Product Catalog
Awareness of the common problems you might encounter when managing product listings and data will hep you efficiently create and maintain a product catalog. Here are a few to consider if you are updating or launching an eCommerce business:
1. Keeping your product listings updated
Keeping your product catalog constantly updated is crucial whether updating prices and availability, adding new products, or improveing product descriptions. This task can take up a lot of time and resources, but to make the most of your eCommerce store, you have to confirm that all of your products are properly listed with the latest information.
2. Managing products across multiple sales channels
Another challenge that most eCommerce businesses face is selling products across different online platforms. This creates the need for multiple product catalogs that must then be managed. Each of these online channels will have different listing requirements, and this lack of uniformity can make product listing updates more difficult. But to be able to provide your buyers with all of the details that they need to make a purchasing decision, it’s important to provide them with complete and accurate product listings.
3. Expanding your product catalog
To make it easier to expand your product listings in the future, start with a clean and well-organized product catalog. An inaccurate and unorganized product catalog can be a headache for eCommerce businesses as it consumes valuable time and resources to correct errors. This can even discourage you from growing your product catalog and your business.
4. Handling complex product details
Some products may have more complex details to incorporate compared with others. Depending on your niche, there may be complicated data structures or descriptions to include with your products and services. Without sacrificing detail, you need to be sure that your catalogue inclusions are easy to understand for your target buyer. The more difficult or complicated a listing is, the less likely a buyer is to make a purchase decision. on an eCommerce store.
5. Maintaining data quality
The last thing you will want to hear from a customer is that your product listings are inaccurate, incomplete, unhelpful, or misleading. Unfortunately, this can happen if the catalogue details do not match the products you are selling. If a buyer orders your products and what they receive does not match what was indicated on your listings, this can mean a bad review for your store. You will want to make sure that every product listing contains accurate and detailed information that will help your buyers make an informed decision about their purchase with the right expectations.
Effective Strategies in Product Catalog Management
Now that you know what issues you may encounter when maintaining your product catalog, you should now know how to avoid these problems by applying some good product catalog management strategies.
1. Build trust by providing quality information
Trust is a very important part of online sales. It goes both ways, with the buyer trusting that the product will match what is expected based on the store’s website and with the seller trusting that the buyer will pay for what is provided. As a seller, it is your responsibility to provide your current and future customers with the right information about your products. This builds your brand’s reputation and ensures that customers get what they want whenever they decide to buy from you. This also helps eliminate negative reviews about your products and your brand in general.
2. Tag and categorize your product catalog
Another way you can help improve your customers’ experience on your online store is by tagging and categorizing your products accordingly. Take advantage of the categorization options offered by almost all eCommerce platforms. Buyers will be able to find the products they want with speed and ease. Make sure that all product tags and measurements are consistent and optimize categorization opportunities, such as listing items under multiple headings to enhance search accessibility.
3. Choose a suitable catalog management tool
There is a large selection of product management and eCommerce tools available, so be sure to vet each option carefully and choose the right one to meet your unique business needs. You can choose from cloud/browser-based or downloadable on-premise software solutions, You can also use spreadsheets or a product information management (PIM) system. Make sure that the system you select allows you to scale and manage your product catalog while also being straightforward for staff to use.
4. Practice the arts of upselling and cross-selling
To make the most of every sales opportunity, provide customers with the means to easily find products that they may be interested in along with their most recent order. For example, you can offer a customer looking for a cell phone additional products compatible with this item such as a case. You can also try to upsell by suggesting a much better, higher quality cell phone or volume discounts for purchasing more than one of an item.
5. Create a map of your product catalog management process
Managing a large selection of products can affect some of your processes in one way or another. This is why it’s important to understand the impact that changes to your catalogue can have on the rest of your teams. If you are listing a new product, a process map will help you quickly know who should be made aware about this change and what you can do to prepare. Will you need to choose a new courier that can accommodate your new products? Do you need to train your customer support to make sure that they are familiar with your products? With the process map to guide you, you won’t have to keep wondering if there is anything amiss with your processes.
The success of your product catalog management lies on how you resolve any challenges you encounter along the way. There is no one-size-fits-all procedure to making your product management work, but if you follow some strategies that have been tried and tested by many successful eCommerce businesses, you may be able to crack the code and find more consistent success as an online seller.
If you need help in handling your product catalog management and are considering outsourcing this aspect of your business, contact us here at Assivo. We can offer you a more comprehensive guide on how we can help you keep your product catalogs consistently updated and managed.
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