How Do I Make a Free Download Catalog?

Eli Merrell Picture

by Eli Merrell | Last Updated: Apr 13, 2023

product catalog is a great resource for your customers and dealers. It allows them to find important product information in one spot, creating a positive experience with your brand.

Creating and maintaining a product catalogue is not a small task for your team. The good news is there are many tools to make this job more manageable. 

How to Make a Catalog?

With any big project, it is important to make a plan and gather everything you need before work begins. Tackling a product guide is no different. 

  1. First, determine the structure of your catalogue and the information you’d like to include in it. Ask yourself questions like: will this include all products? Will related products and accessories be in this guide? Will we structure this document by product type, horsepower, or another category your consumers care about?
  2. Once you’ve determined the structure it is time to gather all of the product information and related assets. Collect all of the content you need to incorporate in this catalog. When it is time to assemble the product guide you don’t want to halt your process searching for information. Collect everything so you can be the most efficient. 
  3. Now that you’ve compiled all of your information, it is time to add it to a product information management (PIM) solution. Adding your product information into a PIM allows you and your team to work faster and more confidently. No more searching for product images in a Dropbox, your team has everything they need in the PIM.
  4. Now the real fun begins. After adding information to a PIM, create a digital experience using the information stored in the PIM. The connection between the PIM and the digital experience will ensure product information is up to date when a user accesses the experience. 
  5. Keep your product information up to date using the PIM. By managing information in a PIM solution like Lumavate’s, product updates can be in the hands of users in a matter of seconds. Solutions such as Lumavate’s PIM allow you to connect information stored in a PIM to digital experiences. With Lumavate those digital experiences can be built in 30 minutes.  

On the surface building a catalog seems like a big task. Breaking it into manageable pieces will help you streamline your work. 

How Do I Make a Free Download Catalog?

There are many ways to deliver a product catalog to your users. It is important to think about the kind of user experience you want to build. 

A very common way to share product information is via a product catalog PDF. Many brands create PDF versions of their product guide using a free PDF catalog creator or free catalog design templates. These are good jumping-off tools to get you started. 

Many product marketers will create product guides in a software design program such as Adobe InDesign and then save the file as a PDF. Users are familiar with accessing PDF files and it is a common practice but oftentimes the information in the PDF is outdated. 

The information included in a PDF is from a specific moment in time and is often outdated almost immediately after it is created because product information is constantly changing. Creating a digital product guide connected to a PIM removes this concern. You can update your digital product guide as often as your product information is updated. By hosting product information in a PIM that automatically updates the digital experience your users gain access to up-to-date product information at all times. 

How Do I Make a Simple Product Catalog?

A product catalog does not need to be complex. If you are starting from scratch or transitioning a printed catalog to digital it is okay and a good practice to start simple. 

If your team is transitioning from a printed or PDF product catalog, begin by recreating what you currently have in a digital format. Moving product information into a PIM and building a digital experience is a big task, no need to reinvent the wheel right now. 

Because digital experiences are so easy to update, you can create what you have now and change it at a later date without a headache. Collect feedback from customers and dealers and incorporate their suggestions in version two. Has your team seen another product guide format they like and want to try; no problem. Easy iteration is a key element of digital product guides. 

If you are building your first digital product guide you can follow a similar project plan. Determine what is must-have information and compile it into the PIM and digital experience. The first version of your product guide is not set in stone. As you hear feedback and develop your brand’s identity, make changes to your digital product guide. 

The changes you make can be in the hands of users within seconds, no need to wait for next year’s printed material cycle to update. 

What Program Should I Use to Make a Catalog?

There are many options in catalog design software. A few of these options include Adobe InDesign, Filestage, Akeneo, CleverCat, and Lumavate. Review each option and its qualities to determine the best catalog design software for you and your team. 

The solution could be presented in a number of ways, a catalog maker app, a catalog management software, a catalog design software, or a digital experience platform (DXP)

Lumavate is a digital experience platform ( DXP) that offers a PIM solution. Lumavate is a single platform allowing users to store and update product information and then build digital experiences with this information. Because the solution is easy to use you will become a pro digital catalog maker. When a product is updated you can quickly update the information in the PIM which will directly update the digital product guide. Your customers and dealers will never reference outdated information again. 

Start creating today!

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.