How Do I Make an Online Free Catalog?

Eli Merrell Picture

by Eli Merrell | Last Updated: May 19, 2023

Product catalogs are a great resource for your customers to learn about your company’s product offerings. Creating a digital product catalog makes this information easier to access and update. 

How Do I Make a PDF Catalog?

A PDF catalog is a common format seen in product catalogs. Typically when companies create a catalog as a PDF they are using software such as Adobe InDesign. Other resources include Microsoft Word or Canva. Teams who use this software will manually design and enter product information into the document. Next they need to export the file as a PDF and promote it using the applicable channels.  Once the PDF is created it is a static document meaning any time product information changes your team will need to manually make the update. They will need to type in the product change to the document, export it again and replace every version of it. This creates an ongoing, long, and manual process for your team. Each time there is a product update your team will need to follow this process. If your products change often it will feel like the product catalog is never done. 

How Do I Make an Online Free Catalog?

As with most things in life, nothing is really free including creating a catalogue. If your team chooses to use resources like Microsoft Word or Canva it may appear it is possible to make an online free catalog but there are hidden costs to consider.  While Word and Canva could be considered free catalog software, the creation of your catalog will still cost you money in the way of your team’s time. Creating a catalog is a big task for your team to take on. They need to compile all of the data and assets that will live in the business catalog. Next they need to manually build the catalog, make edits and finalize it. Once the catalog is done they will need to export it as a PDF and share it in the applicable ways, most likely on the company website. Lastly there is the ongoing task of keeping the information current.  This process could take weeks of your team’s time, taking their attention away from other revenue-generating tasks. While there is no additional software cost don’t forget about the cost of your team’s time.  Other platforms that will aid your team in building an interactive digital catalog will most likely have software costs associated with them. These options could also save your team time. It is important to review the trade offs. 

How Do I Create a Digital Catalog?

Creating an online catalog is a big task for you and your team. It is important to break it up into manageable pieces so you will be successful and not get lost in the process.  First, determine the structure of your catalog and what needs to be included. Think through what information your customer needs and how it should be organized. Ask yourself about the customer journey and how you want customers to interact with the catalog. By asking these questions from the start you’re making the blueprint for the rest of the catalog.  The next step is to collect the content that will bring your catalog to life. This means every last product detail. Product images and other details that will help build confidence with your audience. After referencing your product catalog your customer should have all the answers they need to make an informed purchase.  Next, add this content to a Product Information Management (PIM) solution. Loading product information into a PIM creates a single source of truth for anyone working on this project. Your team knows the product information in the PIM is correct and can be trusted. They no longer need to worry about using the most recent version of an Excel sheet to find the answers.  Now create your digital catalog as a digital experience. By connecting the PIM to your digital experience most of the manual work is being done for you. Gone are the days of typing in product details over and over again. With solutions like Lumavate, simply connect the digital experience and the PIM and information will appear. If a product is updated, make the change in the PIM and see the updated information in your digital experience instantly.  If your products change regularly, your product catalog is never truly done. Updates are an important part of the process. Keep product information up to date in the PIM so the right information is in the hands of your customers. 

What Program Can I Use to Make a Catalog?

There are many options when it comes to catalog maker software. It is important to review every resource’s benefits and make sure you are selecting the best fit for your team.  Solutions like Lumavate provide easy product information management with the PIM and easy creating with the digital experience platform. When you are able to connect your product catalog to a PIM information management becomes much easier. Now your team has a single location for all product information and can easily tie all digital experiences to that information.  Your team will no longer spend hours typing product information into a document. Instead, once the PIM is connected to the digital catalog maker the product information will appear. Any time there is an update simply make the change in the PIM and see the update ripple across all digital experiences. Gone are the days of updating one line in multiple documents and it taking up half of your day.  Learn how to make better product catalogs today, book a demo!

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