April 6, 2022
The concept of product catalog management seems fairly simple. All you need to do is maintain a catalog of all the items you sell online. As simple as that.
Yet, in practice, keeping a product catalog clean and updated at all times is hard to do for many reasons.
In this article, we’ll cover three of these challenges, as well as ways to help you solve them.
But first, let’s quickly go through some catalog management basics.
Product catalog management refers to the
strategic process of managing your eCommerce product catalog to ensure the quality of your product data across all sales channels. It includes how merchants organize, standardize, and publish their product data to each sales channel. Whether your product data is created in-house or is from third parties like suppliers, you need to manage its accuracy.
A product catalog usually includes the following product content:
And while this sounds like a walk in the park, in reality, things can get messy. It’s very easy for your product content to become chaotic, inconsistent, and, thus, unreliable.
That’s why many merchants tend to settle for more mediocre product information, without realizing how much they’re actually losing in the process.
For instance, poor product data in your catalog can cause many other problems (such as incomplete product listings online).
However, once you learn what makes product data so important, and why it’s key for a high-quality product catalog, you’ll think twice before leaving it chaotic or posting to update it.
Suggested read: Product catalog management 101 [definition + 6 tips to improve]
Product data matters because it’s what drives your business forward.
Incorrect or misleading product data can destroy your brand’s reputation, affect your company’s growth, and “send” potential customers over to your competitors.
What’s more, product data affects the following aspects too:
Third-party vendors and suppliers often give marketplaces incomplete, misleading or confusing product data. The data could also be in the wrong format, there could be spelling issues, layout problems, and so on.
This can be an issue for many industries, but especially for businesses such as fashion, as they deal with delicate items. In case the suppliers don’t provide data that’s rich enough, the catalog management, but also product discovery can become complex.
These are all nuisances that need fixing right away.
Lack of relevant product data decreases the brand’s authority, discourages consumers from making a purchase, and affects product awareness in a negative manner.
Just think about this: the less rich your data is, the fewer options you can show on navigation. Also, poor product data means there could be a big gap between what users search for vs the results they get.
In any case, it all leads to fewer conversions, and this is something no eCommerce store wants to have to put up with.
Inconsistent product data is yet another common catalog management issue.
Being consistent means updating prices, availability, improving product content and descriptions, adding/removing products, and so on.
If you want to make the most out of your online store, you need to ensure product data consistency. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.
Also, no data or product manager wants to hear that their listings are incomplete, or worse - misleading. This is a common issue and it usually happens when your product details don’t match the items you’re actually selling. So if someone chooses to buy these products, and they receive something else, you’ll not only lose that customer, but you’ll probably end up with a bad review too.
There are many solutions to these product catalog management challenges. However, we always recommend options that work both quickly and effectively.
One such solution is automatic tagging.
By automating your product tagging process you will:
Suggested read: The Complete Guide for Automatic Product Tagging in E-Commerce
All in all, the eCommerce catalog management depends on the tools at your disposal and the correctness of your data. The better the tools and the more rich and consistent your data, the better your product catalog management.
And while the challenges that come with product catalog management are common, they don’t need to wreak havoc in your business. Try Pixyle’s catalog enrichment solution to see how auto-tagging can power effective and pain-free catalog management.
See it for yourself