How Do I Create a Digital Catalog?

Eli Merrell Picture

by Eli Merrell | Last Updated: May 18, 2023

Product catalogs are a great resource for your customers to learn about your products. They become an even more valuable resource when they are digital. Digital catalogs provide easy access for customers and easier maintenance for marketers. 

How to Create a Catalog?

Creating a catalogue can be a daunting task. There are a lot of details and assets to compile. Before jumping into the deep end, break up the task into manageable pieces.  First determine the structure of the catalog. Ask yourself how you want to structure this resource. Will your products be organized by type, use case, horsepower or another method? Will every product be in this catalog, including accessories and related products? How will the end user interact with this catalog? Ask yourself these questions in the beginning to create a framework and guide the rest of your work.  Next, it is time to gather assets. Every detail that will appear in the product catalog needs to be collected at the beginning. This will help speed up the creation process later. Collect all product information that needs to be included, all product images and any links that you’d like to include. If you want a piece of information in the catalog make sure to collect it.  Now it is time to organize this product data in a product information management (PIM) solution. Using a PIM will help your team work more efficiently. Hosting information in a PIM creates a single source of truth for your team. Currently your team spends hours verifying product data across multiple sources like Word Documents and Excel Sheets. A PIM will replace all of those outdated and inefficient ways of storing and managing your product data.  Now the fun beings, it is time to create. Now that your information is collected and entered into a PIM your creation process will be smooth. Build your product catalog as either a printed PDF or an online version. The online version could be a PDF that is hosted on your website or it could be an interactive digital experience. A digital experience can oftentimes be connected to the PIM for easy management. With solutions like Lumavate when information is updated in the PIM the change is seen instantly in the corresponding digital experiences. 

How to Create a Catalog in Excel?

Excel is a favorite tool among manufacturing teams. Oftentimes product information is stored in an Excel sheet. While on the surface this may seem like an easy way to organize product information it does create a few obstacles.  When it is time to take product information from the Excel sheet and build a product catalog, teams must manually type information directly into the product catalog document. This is a very time consuming task for your team. It also opens the door for human error to sneak in. A simple mistake like a decimal in the wrong place could lead to massive confusion and costly errors.  A PIM can relieve your team of these worries. Data only needs to be entered into a PIM once and is maintained in a single location. When a digital experience is connected to a PIM the information in the PIM drives the digital experience. Your team no longer needs to spend hours typing in the same stats in different places. 

How Do I Make a PDF Catalog?

A PDF catalog is a common type of catalog seen in manufacturing. Most companies that build a product catalog PDF use tools like Adobe InDesign, Word, or Canva. These tools offer the ability to create visually appealing catalogs and then convert them into a PDF. Once the catalog is finalized your team will need to export it as a PDF and then promote it using the applicable channels.  It’s important to note that any time there is a product update you and your team will need to update the PDF to ensure it is accurate. This means editing the document manually, resaving it, and replacing the old version with the new one. This means managing your product catalog is an ongoing process with many steps each time there is an update. 

How Do I Create a Digital Catalog?

There are many ways to create a digital catalog and tools to help along the way. Digital catalog examples include digital experiences and digital PDFs. We highly recommend using a PIM to streamline this process. Storing information in a PIM will give your team the confidence to know the information they are using is correct. Gone are the days of double and triple checking multiple resources to verify you have the most updated information. Your team can work faster and more accurately.  With a PIM maintaining your product catalog just got easier too. Each time a product has an update, make the change once and see the results everywhere instantly. You no longer need to chase down small edits across multiple sheets and PDFs. You don’t have to worry about possibly forgetting to update a document. The PIM takes care of every edit in the catalog for you.  Lumavate is a good digital catalog maker because it offers a PIM and a digital experience platform (DXP). The two features can be connected working as a single catalog maker software for your team. Load your data into the PIM and put it to work after creating digital product catalogs using the DXP. Your team will thank you for lighting the load on them. Before selecting which software to use it is important to review all of the features to make sure you are selecting the best catalog design software for you and your team. Making the right choice will help your team create the best  online catalog.  Learn how to make more dynamic digital catalogs, book a demo today! 

See Lumavate in Action

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