Everything You Should Know About Ecommerce Product Catalog Management!

A hard part of selling your products online is managing the product catalog. You could have a lot of SKUs for publishing across diverse sales channels such as the marketplaces and webstore. It is simpler then for the product data to become inconsistent and messy. It can be time-consuming and tedious to really normalize for all the use cases. That’s why a lot of merchants finish up settling for the subpar product info because it is just too much to handle. However, poor product details can direct to other problems such as unfinished product listings online. Here’re a few common challenges that businesses face with Ecommerce Product Catalog management and what you can really do to improve it.

The Significance Of Ecommerce Product Catalog Management:

Today consumers demand consistent and rich online experience while purchasing a product online. And as an ecommerce player, you almost certainly are conscious of that the product catalog plays a vital role in providing that experience. However, despite such consciousness, many players are yet to take on the useful product catalog management tactics. Creating, maintaining, and implementing product catalog online can be an overwhelming job in the multi-channel ecommerce marketplace. 

Add to that, a variety of languages and platforms, product diversity further compound issues making it hard to really optimize the catalog management. Before diving deeper into why you have to have the sound catalog management system, let’s have a quick glance at what exactly is the product catalog management.

Ecommerce Product Catalog Management:

Briefly, it’s a strategic procedure of creating, managing, and updating the product database across different channels for ensuring comprehensive and accurate product data. The catalog management involves integrating a complete gamut of data, comprising product attributes, classification, and categorization, along with the warranty, manufacturing, and policy information into product information as well as picture processing. An ordered catalog not just can make it simpler for shoppers to locate what they are searching for but also provides data that can assist them in making the buying decisions.

Scaling The Product Catalog While Maintaining The Consistency:

Obviously, if you own a business, you’ll have to append new products to the catalog for driving business growth. However, appending more SKUs (stock-keeping units) makes it more difficult to manage or even accommodate if you depend on the manual catalog management procedure. Given the broad needs of updating product information, it’s significant to have the correct system and tools for ensuring the products are listed perfectly. Failing to manage your product catalog can direct to issues during the mass changes, which can, in turn, cause poor consumer experience, hampering both reputation and business.

Managing The Product Catalog On The Ecommerce Marketplaces:

Managing the catalog across different channels comprising the ecommerce marketplaces is a hard procedure. It’s imperative to competently manage the product information and maintain consistency across diverse channels to make sure the shoppers locate the product simply and have a flawless experience. A good catalog management system is created for effectively managing the high volume of SKUs; it permits you to simply access the product data from suppliers and publish across different marketplaces as per the platform requirements. 

Besides making sure accurate and comprehensive product data, the catalog management permits you to keep consistency across the channels allowing you to provide omnichannel experience. It also gives a chance to improve branding through relevant and compelling content that piques shoppers’ interest and seizes their attention, increasing the odds of conversion.

Going Beyond The Product Information Management:

You could either spend in a system in-house, on the other hand, outsource it to the knowledgeable service provider, where you’d have access to the knowledge as well as tools and systems. The efficient catalog management services assist in optimizing cost and time in managing the huge volume of the product information while ensuring standardized, accurate, and uniform product data across channels. 

The catalog management services also comprise the on-page search engine optimization, metadata and picture tags, keyword-rich title and descriptions, key requirements for ensuring product visibility, and flawless customer experience. The product catalog management goes beyond just creating and managing the product information across channels. Appealing designs, well-attributed products, and relevant description optimized truly for the search engines make navigation simpler. A well-managed and organized catalog surely guarantees business growth.

Common Challenges Of The Ecommerce Catalog Management:

Here are a few common challenges of managing the ecommerce product catalog:

  • Keeping the product listings updated online
  • Managing the product listings across various sales channels
  • Normalizing the supplier or 3rd-party product information 
  • Expanding the product catalog
  • Managing difficult product structures such as kits/assemblies or serialized items

Keeping The Product Listings Updated:

A lot of merchants have to incessantly update the SKUs because of the constant cost changes, newly accessible products, or different other reasons. Each day, you could invest a considerable amount of time modifying the things so that you can list all of them. That’s the time taken away from the other significant tasks like operations, marketing, and customers.

Selling Across Various Channels:

How do you competently list your same products across various channels such as webstores or marketplaces? Listing the products across various places is hard because every channel has its own requirements. The product categories of Amazon are diverse from eBay. How you really list the product on a marketplace is also diverse then how you’d show them on the branded webstore. Tailoring listings to every sales channel can take a lot of time, slowing the go-to-market time with things. The product information can simply become messy and still direct to you to making listing blunders such as unfinished information or even listing in some incorrect place. 

Dealing With The Supplier Data:

The suppliers or other 3rd-party sellers frequently hand over product information that’s bare minimum data and could be missing numerous item attributes. Information can also be in the incorrect format utilizing diverse data structures or spellings. Since dealers do not sell directly to customers, they do not have to standardize the product data the same way you do. Such are nuisances that you have to fix before publishing online. Having to normalize or clean up this information is a timely step in the procedure.

Expanding The Product Catalog:

When the product catalog is already badly organized, it is difficult to append more SKUs when you have to. You either need to go back and clean up the SKUs, or you need to live with the existing bad product data quality. This quandary can direct to some merchants deciding not to append to their existing catalogs. You might not have the time or resources to fix such types of issues. Unluckily, this problem can dishearten you from growing the business.

Dealing With Difficult Product Structures:

Relying on the types of things you sell, you could have more difficult product information structures than others. For instance, a merchant selling diamond rings has to handle some challenging structures such as:

  • Assemblies/Kits: An engagement ring contains a unique diamond, ring band style, and stone setting.
  • Serialized Items: Every diamond is a unique item.

Even the clothing company deals with variant/matrix products where one thing can come in diverse colors and sizes. Such relationships between the products have to be well-represented and organized in the data. If not, then you can have problems publishing information online and with back-office operations such as financial reporting and inventory counts.

Tips For Improving The Ecommerce Product Catalog:

While usability and SEO are significant for any website, when it comes to retailing online, merchants have to contemplate things that are particular to ecommerce. The following are some steps sellers can take for improving the online product catalog management approach. These best practices will get better search engine rankings, user experiences, and, hopefully, sales.

Select The Best Navigation/Category Structure For The Online Store:

Mega menus can be awesome for sellers with big product catalogs, but issues can occur with mega menus if merchants are not cautious. It is significant not to engulf the customer or puzzle them. Plus, having groups that are specific can avert the customer from looking into new products they’re not necessarily searching for but might decide to purchase. Here’re a few instructions online retailers can utilize for preventing issues resulting from the bad navigation/categorization on the sites:

  • Contemplate the number of things in your product assortment and also its breadth and depth. If there are not a lot of things in the catalog, a mega menu is not something to go for.
  • Think about how your customer would normally shop. Do keyword research and contempt putting a few subcategories in several parent categories.
  • Keep in mind that customers, and search engines, are more likely to comprehend text rather than images for the navigation menus. 
  • Utilize larger and/or bold fonts for differentiating categories from the subcategories.
  • Create parent categories clickable for allowing consumers to check out new products.
  • Do not make a lot of layers of categories in the main navigation. 

Make Use Of Upselling & Cross-Selling Strategies:

For increasing conversion and sales, it assists to show consumers related products while they shop. It can be accomplished both on PDPs (product detail pages) and with the internal search.

For The Product Detail Pages:

  • Create a “You May Also Like” sort of a list with related things that are similar in its style or could be utilized along with the thing the consumer is currently seeing.

For The Internal Search:

  • Set up hypernyms, synonyms, related terms, and misspelling suggestions for ensuring that consumers see all the products relevant to a search.
  • When the consumer begins typing a query in the search box of your website, show different suggestions that drop down from that search bar.
  • For the general searches, direct consumers to different category pages rather than the long products’ list. That way, the consumers can simply limit their search utilizing relevant filter options. On the official Sephora site, for instance, if somebody searches lips, they will be shown the Lips category page.

Evade Search Engine Optimization Issues Resulting From The Duplicate Content:

Utilizing the same copy for several product descriptions, or, say, utilizing a product description given by the manufacturer that’s on some other site, counts as the duplicate content, which can affect search engine optimization negatively. Another example of such content would be when several paths exist for reaching the same product. 

For instance, a product might exist within several subcategories and thus have several paths. It can occur when the product can be located under a certain parent category for the particular type of clothing, and also under the parent category for your brand. For preventing penalties from Google because of the duplicate content, here’re a few actions you can take:

  • Don’t use the old copy again or place the same copy on various pages, be it from a manufacturer, your website, or elsewhere.
  • When several paths exist for reaching a particular landing page, you can make use of the rel=canonical tag in the <head> section of your code for the webpage. The canonical page version is the one you desire to serve as your primary URL for your content.

Prune Ro Help Search Engine Optimization:

Pruning, when speaking about the sites, is the practice of improving or removing pages on a website that append little value and can really damage the rankings on the search engine. It doesn’t necessarily denote removing pages altogether. At times a seller might deactivate some out-of-stock product temporarily and take it out from the index. They frequently do so if such an item will return later. 

Optimize The Product Descriptions:

Good product descriptions consider not just the customer, but also how to optimize for different search engines. Here is how to do both:

  • Write an engaging and short paragraph about the product that can match your brand personality. Make certain the paragraph comprises good keywords for search engine optimization.
  • Comprise bullet points below your paragraph with more particular data like where the product is from, and what it is made of, etc. Don’t sum up what’s in the paragraph into the bullet points.

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