How Can I Create a Free Catalog?

Eli Merrell Picture

by Eli Merrell | Last Updated: May 1, 2023

Product catalogs are important resources for your customers to learn product information and learn to trust your brand. Building a catalog is a big task and one that needs to be thoughtfully executed.

How Do I Create My Own Catalog?

Creating a catalog is a daunting task. Compiling all of your product information and assets into one document may feel overwhelming. Break down the process into manageable steps that your team can tackle. The first step is to determine the structure of your catalog and the information that should be included. Ask important questions like what is the best way to organize the products? By product types, horsepower, use case or another identifier. Remember it is a best practice to start small with a simple product catalog first. Make a simple version and iterate on that. As you learn more about your customers and how they use the product guide this information will help you improve your catalog.  After determining the structure and what should be included, next it is time to compile all of the information and related assets. Think through all of the product details, what information does your audience need? Make sure to include it. Collect product images and possibly even lifestyle images to share with your audience. You want customers to feel confident that your product will fit seamlessly into their lives.  Now that you have all of your product data compiled it is time to add all of the information into a Product Information Management Solution (PIM). By adding your information into a PIM your team can easily access and manage it. They no longer need to chase product information across Excel sheets or their teammates’ desktops. Everything lives in the PIM. Hosting information in a PIM also opens the door to using this data in more dynamic ways.  Now the fun begins, creating your catalog using the information stored in the PIM. By connecting the digital experience to the PIM you are ensuring all of your product information is up to date at all times. When an update is made to the information in the PIM the change is automatically seen across all digital experiences calling that data.  Now that the product catalog is created and information is living in the PIM, the next task is to keep this up to date. Because your information lives in a PIM this task just got a lot more simple. Make the updates in the PIM and see the information in all digital experiences it is connected to. With solutions like Lumavate managing PIM data and digital experiences happen in the same place. You can build digital experiences tied to data in a PIM in less than 30 minutes.  Don’t you want to be able to say “My own catalog is quickly updated and managed with a PIM!” 

How Can I Create a Free Catalog?

Technically it is impossible to make a free digital catalog, when you dive into the details like with most things, nothing is free.  A product catalog PDF that is downloaded by customers is technically free. But keep in mind all of the work that goes into building this catalog. Your team will spend hours collecting product information and formatting the document. Then once the PDF is completed chances are there has been a product update. Now your team is chasing this update across multiple lines in a product guide and manually updating it each time. This is time that could be spent in other ways increasing revenue. You are spending money by spending your team’s time in inefficient ways. If you decide to use a platform to create an interactive catalog there will more than likely be some software costs to creating this document. It is important to compare the upfront costs of using software vs the hidden costs of a free catalog. Does the software cost money, yes. But the free version also costs money in your team’s time and resources. 

How Do I Create an Online Catalog?

Your customers are online and you need to meet them where they are. Creating an online product catalog is a great way to interact with your customers where they are already spending time. By building your product catalog using a Digital Experience Platform (DXP) like Lumavate you are opening the door to a great online experience for your customers.  Connecting the digital experience to the PIM allows for easy updates for your team. Take it one step further and create a product catalog template. By creating a template you’re doing the heavy lifting once and allowing your team to work faster in the future. Create a template of what you want your product catalog to look like every time so your team can simply copy the template, make adjustments and share.

How Much Does It Cost to Make a Catalog?

The cost of creating a product catalog can vary depending on the resources used to create the catalog and how the data is managed.  While creating a PDF and uploading it to a website might appear to be a free version there are a lot of hidden costs. If your team is managing data in an Excel sheet and manually creating a PDF catalog every year they could be spending upwards of 30 hours to create one catalog. That is almost an entire week of their time spent combing through an Excel sheet to make edits, typing information into a document, reviewing the document, and checking they have the correct assets. This way of work also opens the door for human error to sneak in. Don’t leave important product information open to simple errors.  Your team can create a digital product guide tied to PIM data in about 30 minutes using Lumavate. There is a cost to using Lumavate but in the long run it can actually save money and time. Learn more about how to make better product guides today, book a demo!

See Lumavate in Action

Meet with one of our experts to see how easy it is to centralize your product data, manage digital assets, and create digital product experiences. Trust us…you’re going to be wowed.