Best Catalog Design Software
Product catalogs have been a tried and true method for brands to educate customers of their various products for years.
What Is a Product Catalog?
A product catalog is a resource businesses create to showcase their product offerings. Product catalogs are incredibly useful tools for businesses to generate brand awareness, increase revenue, and educate customers on new product launches.
Products That Can Be Featured in a Product Catalog
Curious about what products should be featured in a product catalog? Let’s take a look at some examples:
- Home Goods and Furniture
- Beauty and Personal Care
- Sports and Outdoor Equipment
- Home Appliances
Types of Product Catalogs
Thanks to digital transformation, printed catalogs go beyond the traditional method of distribution. There is more than just one way to create a product catalog.
Printed catalogs are physical marketing resources that display a company’s product line. Printed catalogs are usually distributed through mail to a customer’s home or through a sales team member handing a prospect a marketing resource.
These resources are usually large books that contain a lot of information and can be cumbersome for the end-user to navigate if they are wanting to find a specific type of product.
Printed catalogs have been the traditional method for creating product catalogs for many years now. But just because it’s the way “things have always been done” doesn’t mean it’s a fit anymore for consumer preferences.
Seventy percent of companies are investing in digital transformation strategies or currently have one. According to the same study, 56 percent of CEOs have reported digital transformation efforts have directly aided in increased profits for their business.
With consumers’ predisposition towards digital, more marketing materials are moving towards digital and ditching the traditional methods of being printed off and shipped.
Digital catalogs are marketing guides that lay out the business products in a readable format online.
These resources can be accessed in several ways. One of the most popular ways digital product catalogs can be accessed by customers is through a QR code. QR codes can be placed on signage in a tradeshow booth for attendees to scan and activate the experience. The same can be done with near-field communication (NFC) chips. URLs are another popular choice when it comes to customers activating a digital product catalog. Sales teams can include a link to a digital product catalog over email, social media managers can create engaging social posts that include a link for their audience to view the digital catalog, or even include a link to a product catalog on the company’s main website.
Digital Catalog Benefits
Digital catalogs lead to an enhanced customer experience for several reasons.
- Searchable - One, if customers are interested in a specific product, brands can add a search bar within the product catalog so users can easily find what they’re after.
- Increased SEO - Printed catalogs do not offer SEO benefits as these are not web pages that can be crawled by search engines and show up on the first page of Google.
- Reduced Costs - When product catalogs are created digitally, there are no printing or shipping costs associated with them. That leaves more room in marketing’s budget to accomplish other tasks or invest resources somewhere else
What Should Be Included in a Product Catalog?
Creating a product catalog can be a daunting task if you’ve never created one before. Let’s take a look at some of the necessary items to include in a product catalog if you want to engage with readers properly.
- Detailed Product Information - Customers need to be educated on the products they’re interested in. This includes detailed product descriptions, accurate pricing information, SKU numbers so they can reference them later, product specifications if the item is larger and needs to fit in a specific place in the customer’s home, and more. There’s a fine line between giving too much and giving too little product information. One way to mitigate this issue is to include a “More Information” button next to products in case the customer wants to digest more product information than given in the general overview.
- Product Images - A picture is worth a thousand words. Having visually engaging images that support the product information will help tell the story of why customers need to purchase a specific product from your brand. As attention spans decrease, images help capture the attention of customers This is a vital item that should be included in your product catalog.
- Related Accessories - IKEA is a great example of a brand that uses related accessories in its digital product catalog. For example, in one of their bathroom catalogs, they feature bathroom accessories such as toothbrush holders, towels, and more next to the main product on the page which is a faucet. They are able to take their product catalog and inspire customers to purchase the same products as they displayed in the digital resource.
- Call to Action -What action do you want your customers to take after they read your product catalog? Would you like them to have the ability to talk to sales? Do you want to link to your eCommerce website? A clear CTA at the end can help your business accomplish its goal with the product catalog by placing interactive buttons at the end and throughout the catalog to help guide customers in making a purchasing decision.
What Is the Best Way to Create a Catalog?
The process of creating a printed product catalog versus creating a digital product is much different. And because we just discussed how digital product catalogs are the better choice, let’s take a quick overview of the steps needed to create a digital catalog.
How to Create a Digital Catalog
Below are the steps on how to create a digital catalog.
- Identify the layout of your product catalog - Are you aiming to have a more editorial-style product catalog with products that customers can purchase and articles about the newest trends in your industry? Always keep the reader in mind when creating a product catalog. Will the addition of more content lessen their experience or enhance it? By determining what details to add to the catalog, your team may decide which assets you need to collect in the next step.
- Collect product data and supporting materials - In order to create the catalog, the data that is needed to be included in the resource (images, descriptions, pricing information, etc.) needs to be gathered by your team so it can be organized in one centralized location in the next step.
- Add product data and related assets to a Product Information Management (PIM) solution - Entering the product data into the product information management (PIM) solution is a one-time process that you’ll thank yourself for completing in the long run. A PIM solution is a tool businesses use to store, manage, and edit their product data. If your business has a lot of products, then this might be the longest part of the process, but it’s worth every minute spent organizing your product data.
- Create a digital product catalog experience - This is where the fun part begins. Your team can assemble a digital product catalog experience with the information that has already been entered into the PIM solution. You can create a simple or detailed version of a product catalog depending on the type of integrations, design elements, and other functionality the digital experience platform (DXP) offers to bring your catalog to life. A digital experience platform enables business users to creating mobile apps, landing pages, microsites, and more without the use of developers or code.
- Constantly keep product data up-to-date - Product information will inevitably change. It’s always a good practice to keep the data stored in a PIM up-to-date so customers always have the most accurate product information when making a buying decision.
Best Catalog Software
How are businesses supposed to create digital product catalogs when they have been creating them through Word documents or even Excel for years?
Answer: product catalog software.
Many tools will claim to be examples of product catalog makers, but in reality, the tool business should be using is a digital experience platform with product information management (PIM) functionality. Catalog design software that businesses commonly use is Adobe InDesign. The problem with answering Adobe to the question, “What app is best for making a catalog?” is that most of the time a PDF is generated through this design app. And because it’s a PDF, it does not get instantly updated as a digital experience would.
When using free catalog software, there is a potential for graphic design fees or other unexpected costs to arise to receive the functionality and design that is what customers expect.
So, what’s the best catalog design software? A PIM solution is a tool businesses can use to store all of their product data. When not using PIM software, businesses will use spreadsheets to keep track of their products’ data. However, this is often a tedious chore for business teams to manage, because there are usually gaps in the data or the spreadsheets are saved on the local drive of a project manager’s computer which is not accessible to the entire team.
A digital experience platform (DXP) is software that enables business teams to create front-end experiences to display product data stored in a PIM.
What Is the Best Program to Make a Catalog?
Lumavate is a DXP with PIM functionality and is the best solution to create product catalogs. Teams can create a product catalog digital experience in 30 minutes and have access to more than 100 design elements and integrations to create visually engaging resources for their customers.
How Much Does it Cost to Print Catalogs?
So far, we’ve discussed the differences between digital and printed catalogs from a creation and user standpoint. But how do these two formats of catalogs stack up when it comes to price?
Printed Catalog Price
Creating a printed catalog is no small feat for marketing teams. On average the cost of shipping and printing is around $10,000. And that doesn’t even include the actual costs of making the catalog.
But not only is the cost of printing expensive but there’s another cost to consider when going the traditional route - time. If a business does not utilize a PIM to store its product data, teams can spend hours simply just trying to find product data to include in the catalog.
Digital Catalog Price
When moving towards digital, the costs of creating a product catalog are significantly reduced. How much does catalog design cost? Take a look at Lumavate’s pricing structure, for instance. On Professional and Enterprise plans, businesses can create an unlimited amount of digital experiences, have access to the PIM functionality, access Premium Support, and more.
Simple Product Catalog Template
Sometimes, you need to get a headstart to meet your customers where they are. That’s exactly what Lumavate’s Templates can help your team accomplish.
Product Catalog Template
Lumavate has more than 40 Templates designed for marketing teams to get started with creating digital experiences quickly - including a Product Catalog Template.
Our Product Guide Template is designed to save a ton on printing expenses and gain valuable information about how your customers actually consume the product guide thanks to analytics.
The Template’s functionality includes:
- Product Information
- Product Images
- Product Manuals
- Related Accessories
- Ability to Save to Homescreen
With this Template, your brand can see the following benefits:
- Drive Revenue - Accelerate revenue growth by recommending relevant products, promoting related parts and accessories, and more.
- Decrease Costs - Reduce the need for printing and shipping costs altogether
- Increase Brand Loyalty - When consumers come to use your brand’s product catalog
- Bridge Offline and Online - You can easily connect your physical products with a digital element and provide an omnichannel customer experience.
- Delight Partners - With a digital product catalog, you can set your dealers and partners up for success with engaging sales materials they need to increase revenue for your brand.
Design Product Catalogs with Lumavate
Lumavate is where marketers go to manage their product data in one centralized location and create engaging digital experiences for their products using this data.
We work with some of the most well-known global brands including Trinchero Family Estates, BraunAbility, Herff Jones, and more.
Our team of experts can help you be successful in creating interactive digital product catalogs that help drive revenue and decrease costs for your brand. Our team can also help you implement your product data into our PIM solution so you can focus on the needs of your business while we do the legwork.
Want to start creating digital product catalogs your customers will love? Talk to one of our team members and see how we can get you started on our platform today.
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