What Is a Good Product Catalog?

Eli Merrell Picture

by Eli Merrell | Last Updated: Apr 8, 2023

A product catalog is a valuable resource for your customers and dealers. It provides access to important information about your products. Making a product catalog is one thing, making a good product catalog is another. 

What Is the Purpose of a Product Catalog?

A product catalog is a valuable resource for your customers and your dealers. It is a comprehensive list of all of your company’s products and information about them. Customers will use this document to make informed purchasing decisions. Dealers will use it to make product recommendations.  A product catalogue contains relevant product information such as pricing, product details, and related products. This resource should answer all of your customers' questions in one place. 

What Are the Types of Product Catalogs?

There are two primary types of catalogs. When deciding how to present your product catalog first ask yourself how users will access it. Will it be print or digital? How often do your products change, thus how often will a product catalog need to be updated? These questions are important to answer before picking a type of catalog. The first and most often used by manufacturers is a product catalog PDF.  This is a static document that can be printed or appear digitally as a flip book. This solution does not connect directly to your product data. It requires your team to manually update, sometimes in multiple places, information every time a product is updated. Because this document is static, oftentimes the information in it is out of date shortly after it is published. This leaves your customers and dealers with incorrect information.  A completely digital product guide offers the ability to quickly make updates every time your products change. Ideally your digital product guide will work alongside a product information management (PIM) solution. Using the two systems in tandem allows your team to make changes once and see the results in multiple places.  A few online catalog examples include websites, progressive web apps, microsites, and dealer portals. 

What Is a Good Product Catalog?

When your customers or dealers have questions about your products they need to find the answer fast. A good product catalog is easy to use and navigate. Whether your product catalog is digital or printed users should be able to find what they are looking for quickly.  A digital product catalog that is easily accessed via a QR code or link can provide your audience quick answers. They no longer need to find a printed catalog and flip through the pages. With a simple scan they can access accurate and important information with just a few clicks.  The best product catalogs contain all of the relevant information for the products. Sharing complete product information is a key element of a product catalog. Listing basic information like product name and description is only scratching the surface of what you can include. Think about also sharing related products and accessories. If a customer is purchasing one product they could also be interested in another. You have the opportunity to create a repeat customer just by sharing this information. 

How Do I Make a Product Catalog?

Creating an easy to use and comprehensive product catalog is a big task for your already busy team. As with most daunting tasks it is important to break it up into smaller manageable pieces. On the first iteration making a simple product catalog is a good practice. First determine what to include in your product catalog. Ask yourself and your team questions like, will this include all products, including related products. How should this be organized, by product type, horsepower, fuel type or another category? What product information should we highlight? Will this be digital or a paper catalog? There are many more questions to ask before beginning this process. Make sure to think through every detail.  Next, collect the content. It is important to collect all assets such as pictures, product information and links before you begin building so you can hit the ground running. When you are deep into building a product catalog you don’t want to halt your progress because an item is missing. Set yourself and your team up for success so when it is time to build you can work efficiently.  Now that all of the content has been collected it is a good practice to add it to a PIM for easy management. Entering product information into a PIM solution will allow for easy management and updates. Your team no longer needs to search for accurate product information across desktop folders and Excel sheets. The PIM will become your source of truth and will empower your team to do better work The next step is to use a Digital Experience Platform (DXP) that is connected to your PIM to create your product catalog. DXP solutions can be used in many different ways. In this situation, it will be used as a product guide maker.  This is where everything comes together and all of your planning comes to life. With the content stored in the PIM your team can now quickly and confidently build a digital product catalog with the most up-to-date product information. Keep in mind your customers and dealers. Build an experience that is easy to use and informative. Lastly, make sure to keep the information current. It isn’t enough to enter product information into a PIM and build a digital experience product guide. You must update it often. Because digital experiences are instantly updated when the PIM is updated your information will always be current. Outdated catalogs confusing your customers and dealers are a thing of the past.   DXP solutions like Lumavate offer a PIM making it a single location to store product information and build digital experiences. Your team no longer needs to chase down information across multiple sources, instead give them one source to do everything. Learn more about how to build a digital product guide fast, book a demo!

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