What Makes Online Product Catalogs Convert?

What Makes Online Product Catalogs Convert in Ecommerce

August 11, 2021 | by Lianda Dadlana

We hate to admit it, but the days of sending customers printed catalogs are gone. While some old-school businesses still choose to go the printed catalog route, we cannot ignore that we’re living in a digital-first world. And things need to change.  

Most people are online. Whether it’s through their mobile devices, tablets, or computers. They are browsing, researching, and making most of their purchases online. According to this article, 2.14 billion people worldwide purchase what they need through ecommerce, and 63 % of shopping occasions begin online. 

There are many ways to bring people to your web store, and when done correctly, you'll see the benefits of an ecatalog. Whether it’s to share information with your distributors, resellers, direct-to-consumer (DTC), or internally to your sales and marketing departments. The concept is priceless regardless of the audience. 

It is a cost-effective way to market your products. It's easily shareable online, fast to update and maintain, improves customer engagement, and has the potential to bring in more sales. But, as beneficial as it is, many businesses find it challenging.

So, we're going to guide you on creating high-converting product catalogs.

Your design: it starts with a coherent design

Your digital catalog is an extension of your business and what it represents, so it should look as such. One of the first things you need to ensure when creating an ecatalog is that the design matches your brand's identity. While this might seem like we're stating the obvious, it's easy to get carried away. (Plus, you're doing it to attract people and drive sales, so you'll want to go above and beyond for them.)

While there is nothing wrong with wanting to captivate your customer, they should still know from the first glance that this is your business, especially existing customers. Your branding is what sets you apart from your competitors and gives your customers some sort of familiarity whenever they come across it. 

When it isn’t coherent, you might leave your customers feeling confused, and it may appear disjointed from your business which isn't what you want. By using automated software, such as Plytix PIM’s Brand Portals, you can create an online product catalog template that allows you to incorporate consistent fonts, colors, and images, so that your catalogs always match your marketing communication. 

Your visuals: you need high-resolution images 

When shopping online, the physical aspect is non-existent.

A customer cannot touch and feel a product but instead uses their eyes to determine whether it’s a product they want to purchase. This is when your images have the power to bring you sales. But, when it comes to sales-worthy pictures, we’re talking about high-quality images and not grainy or blurry images. 

For the catalog to grab attention, you need images that are sharp and crisp. They need to show your product off and capture the customer's eye well enough that they visualize themself in the attire or using the product in their daily lives. 

There are many kinds of data that you can store within your PIM, and high-resolution images are one of them. Since our PIM, for instance, has digital asset management (DAM) capabilities, you can store all your images and videos in one location that can be used for your catalog. This cuts the time of having to download and browse through a number of folders in your Dropbox or cloud and upload them. Instead, you can simply select the product image attribute, and they’ll pull through in the format you’ve selected when designing your catalog. 

Your product information: content will always be KING 

While a picture says a thousand words, your content will be the difference between someone who is scrolling and someone who ends up making a purchase.

Whether you are creating a catalog to inform, entertain or drive traffic to your web store, by advertising your business’s new-in products, promotions, or specials, you want to keep readers interested enough to follow through to your web store for more. To do that, you need to have clear and concise product content throughout. 

There is no point in creating a catalog if a customer is still going to be left with unanswered questions. It’s a sales tool, and therefore, it should be treated as one. Customers should find all the product information they need on your catalog if they wish to make a purchase (or whatever the goal for the catalog might be). 

If not, the chances of them even going to your online store or making an inquiry are slim. Using our master product catalog tool within our PIM software, you can make sure you have all the information you want your audience to know. This can be through detailed product descriptions, materials used, pricing, and sizing. 

In your brand portal, you can easily create a product list and add all the necessary attributes that you have stored within the PIM. Once you do that, it will pull through to your brand portal. This makes it faster and easier for you to create a catalog within a matter of minutes rather than spending hours copying and pasting from several different spreadsheets to a digital catalog software.

If a customer likes what they see in your catalog, they can make a direct purchase without any hassles. They won’t have to go through your web store as our software will notify the catalog owner that you have a sale or potential interest! 

Your accessibility: always be reachable 

It’s one thing to have a visually appealing catalog with all the information the customer needs, but what truly makes it one that converts is having your contact information on the catalog. Whoever goes through the catalog MUST be able to reach you without a second thought. When creating the catalog, have the customer in mind. Visualize how they’d scroll through your catalog, what they’d look at, in which order, and how easily it is for them to find your contact details.

A tip for adding your information is to add it to the footer on each page. That way, when customers scroll through the catalog, they can click on your social icons, URL, or email address, regardless of what page they’re on. (FYI: In Plytix, you can add your phone number, email, and URL store link as well as social media links.)

Get more sales from digital catalogs with Plytix 

Always keep in mind that, unlike printed catalogs, you can redefine and change it as you go along. Once you’ve created it, you’re not done with it. Leverage the fact that you can update it if and when you please, and use customer insights to steer your next catalog’s approach. Keep on using it to gather information on your customer, take note of how they respond to it, the questions they have after engaging, and the type of traffic it brings, and where it has been shared the most. 

This will give you an idea of what is working and what's not. With our catalog management tool, you can update it in real-time without your customers knowing. The link you share will always be the same and relevant. Whether you update it the following week or in a few months, the minute they view it, they will have immediate access to your latest information. In addition to that, your customers can also select the items they're interested in and request a quote directly from your brand portal, which helps you simplify the customer journey and sales. 

Brand Portals are automatically included in our PRO plan, but you can build your ideal software according to the features you need and don’t pay for anything more with our Standard plan. For more, look at our ultimate PIM buyer’s guide to get started with PIM. Start creating ecatalogs with our catalog software today!

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Lianda Dadlana

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